Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. Most likely, this a term we are all familiar with in one way or another since it has been in the headlines for some time now. The time has finally arrived for relocation management companies and moving companies to know the facts and the repercussions that may be a result of this change in the UK. Below are a few important points on this monumental change and its impact on household goods moves.
- The Brexit transition period ended on December 31, 2020, at which point the UK ceased to be a part of the EU single market and customs union. As of January 1, 2021, changes have been implemented that will impact how the UK trades with the EU and in the customs, safety, and regulatory checks required at the UK/EU border.
- The EU will be treating the UK as a third country and implement full control on goods passing between the UK and the EU. The UK continues the process of negotiating its future relationship with the EU, including seeking to reach a free trade agreement (FTA). Regardless of the outcome, there will be significant changes at the border beginning on January 1, 2021.
- From closely monitoring the situation through professional bodies and trade associations, it is widely accepted that as of January 1, 2021, household goods coming from Europe to the United Kingdom will be classed the same as standard shipments. The transfer of residence relief process (ToR1) will apply to all consignments arriving at the United Kingdom from Europe as of January 1, 2021. The online application must be completed with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for every shipper and their family to obtain authorization for Transfer of Residence relief. The authorization will allow the goods to be shipped to the UK and once approval is granted, the shipper will receive a Unique Reference Number (URN). The number will be sent to the shipper via e-mail and will be from HMRC. The consignments will also need to export cleared at the country of origin and declared to customs on both sides of the France/UK border crossing.
- As for consignments from the UK to Europe, these shipments will have the same classification. In addition, each shipment must meet the requirements of the import customs clearance process at the destination country before goods can be dispatched from the UK to Europe. An export customs clearance will be mandatory within the UK, and consignments will need to be declared to customs on both sides of the France/UK border crossing.
- Due to the launch of new customs systems, there will be more vigorous border checks both in the UK and in Europe, and delays are foreseen in the initial weeks and months of the new system and customs agreement being launched.
During this change, it is very important to lean on your network of customs brokers throughout the UK and Europe, who have direct access to customs systems and use them as a resource. Things will and always do change – it is suspected that Brexit will be a fluid system. Stay tuned, stay informed, and stay compliant. Aires will continue to provide updates as the situation changes.