Brexit Update 4th January 2021

Dear Customer,

UCS will continue to provide advice and as much information as we can compile in relation to your consignments to and from Europe. However, we must stress it is important you perform your own checks as all non-document exports are commodity code specific. Due to the technical nature and volume of commodity codes it may be that the information provided is not viable for your specific commodity.

Full HMRC guidance is available, it is 37 pages but does include all the details, the specific commodity rules, and the format of declarations:


The objective of this note is simply to ensure that you are aware of some of the key implications of the preferential origin scheme and the rules of origin contained in the EU/UK Trade Agreement.

One of the key benefits of the EU/UK Trade Agreement is the opportunity to avoid the payment of import duties if products originate in the EU or the UK.  The origin rules for some products are quite complex and differ according to their HS commodity code. Therefore, goods from EU countries may be imported into the UK duty free if either:

  • the full duty rate is zero
  • the product meets the preferential origin rules and may be declared as originating in the EU.  (The same process will work in reverse for product of UK origin being exported to EU member states).

In order or the zero percent preferential rate of duty to apply, it is necessary to be able to declare the goods as originating in the appropriate EU member state.  (Not simply being shipped from an EU member State). When claiming preference, the importer should have” proof of the originating status of the product before claiming preference.  This may be a Statement of origin provided by the exporter on a commercial invoice or other commercial document that describes the goods.

It is the shipper’s responsibility to possess the evidence that the origin criteria for any product has been met prior to the importation.  However, there are some waivers available:

  • Small consignments (for the UK up to £1000).  So long as they are declared to the customs authorities as meeting the origin rules, some goods may be imported without the need for a formal proof of origin (a waiver). (The EU waiver is different as it does not apply to commercial transactions)

If products do not meet the origin requirements, then the full duty rate will apply.  However, if it is subsequently established that products do meet the origin requirements any duty paid can be reclaimed up to 3 years later.

Best regards

Richard Mansell

General Manager