Below you will find Frequently Asked Questions around International Trade and Brexit.

We are here to help you ensure you have the latest information to continue trading internationally with minimal disruption.

For more information and suport, take a look at:

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Can’t find an answer to your question? Call our International Trade team on 01522 846929


What has changed for UK business trading with the EU?

Doing business with Europe has changed. The UK has left the Single Market and Customs Union and new rules now apply.

The UK and European Commission jointly agreed the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) and outline Political Declaration (PD). These documents represent the agreements reached by the UK’s and EU’s negotiating teams.

From 1st January 2021, you will need to make customs declarations when moving goods between the UK and the EU. If you have not completed the right customs processes your goods will not be able to cross the EU border.

We can help you with customs declarations, click here to find out more about our ChamberCustoms services.

There are border requirements placed on the movement of goods between the EU and UK, and traders and hauliers must take the steps outlined in the Border Operating Model.

Why do I need customs declarations?

You need a customs declaration because rules have changed and there are border requirements placed on the movement of goods between the EU and UK.

Check what you need to do differently if you’re:

importing goods from the EU

exporting goods to the EU

The UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement establishes zero tariffs or quotas on trade between the EU and the UK, where goods meet the relevant rules of origin.

You will need to make customs declarations when moving goods between the UK and the EU. If you have not completed the right customs processes your goods will not be able to cross the EU border.

We can help you with customs declarations, click here to find out more about our ChamberCustoms services.

What will these new requirements cost?

The new actions your business may need to take to trade with the EU, and the associated costs, are very much dependent on what your business does.

Our fees for certifying your international trade documentation are among the most competitive around.

See our pricing schedules for a breakdown of costs for the following:

– UK Certificate of Origin

– UK EUR1 Documents

– Other documents i.e. commercial invoices/packing lists

– Arab Countries Certificates of Origin

Certification charges for the UK Certificate of Origin, UK EUR1 Documents, and Certification of ‘other’ documents i.e. commercial invoices/packing lists.

Details of submission types:

Ecert Express – complete via platform and print yourself on stationery purchased.

Ecert Standard – complete via platform, chamber prints, certifies + posts back to exporter.

By Post – send to the Chamber for certification, chamber returns by post.

Prechecking – have your documentation checked by the team prior to submission.

Premium Service – advance your documentation checking to the top of the queue.

Contact us via international@lincs-chamber.co.uk or call us on 01522 523333 (option 3).

What does this mean for businesses trading with Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland?

The Northern Ireland Protocol Command Paper outlines details; as well as further information on the UK Government’s work to implement the Protocol and support businesses as it comes into force.

Click here to read the government’s guidance or seek trader support via this link.

Is there training available for customs declarations, export and import documents?

We have training courses available for many aspects of International Trade, including customs declarations, export documents, importing, International Trade Operations and Procedures (ITOPS), Incoterms, and more.

You can see all upcoming training here.

We can also offer bespoke training packages for your business covering a large range of topics. If you are interested in this, please contact us via 01522 523333 (option 3) or email international@lincs-chamber.co.uk

How should my business now be paying taxes and tariffs?

Import tariffs:
The UK Global Tariff now applies to all goods imported into the UK unless an exception applies, such as a trade agreement with the UK.

The EU and UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement establishes zero tariffs or quotas on trade between the UK and the EU, where goods meet the relevant rules of origin.

Paying VAT or claiming VAT refunds:
If a person or business imports goods on your behalf you must tell them how you want to account for import VAT on those imports. They will need this information to complete the customs declaration. This applies to freight forwarders, customs agents, brokers or fast parcel operators.

Buying goods from a supplier, who arranges for someone to import goods on your behalf: You can buy goods from a supplier who arranges for a person or business – such as a fast parcel operator – to import and deliver the goods for you. You must agree with the supplier how you want to account for import VAT, so that they can tell the person/business who completes the customs declaration to make the appropriate entry on the customs declaration. You should keep a written record of what is agreed.

Click here to read the government’s guidance on taxes and tariffs.

Claiming VAT refunds
Check how to claim VAT refunds on goods and services you buy from the UK.

Where do I find my commodity code?

To classify your goods please check the UK trade tariff website here.

This will also determine any prohibitions, restrictions, licence requirements as well as the VAT and duties applicable.

We are unable to advise you on your commodity code but the Government does have an email contact who can provide further assistance:

Email the Tariff Classification Service: classification.enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk for non-legally binding advice on classifying your goods.

How has Brexit affected the trade agreements previously in place ?

Since January 2021 previous EU agreements are no longer valid. Only UK trade agreements apply. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-trade-agreements-with-non-eu-countries

Guidance on how to claim preferential rates of duty on goods covered in the UK Deal with EU can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claiming-preferential-rates-of-duty-between-the-uk-and-eu#rules-of-origin

Exporters should however be aware they can only claim preference where the goods qualify using the rules of origin.

How do I now recruit someone from outside the UK?

Freedom of movement between the UK and EU has ended and the UK has introduced a new immigration system.

Anyone you want to recruit from outside the UK, excluding Irish citizens, needs to meet certain requirements and apply for permission first. The requirements are different for each visa.

You need to have a sponsor licence to hire most workers from outside the UK.

The new system does not apply to EEA or Swiss citizens you already employ in the UK. EEA and Swiss citizens who were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and their family members, had to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021.

 Skilled workers

Anyone you recruit from outside the UK for the Skilled Worker route needs to demonstrate that:

– they have a job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor

– they speak English at the required level

– the job offer is at the required skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level)

– they’ll be paid at least £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for the job offer, whichever is higher

If the job will pay less than this – but no less than £20,480 – the applicant may still be able to apply by ‘trading’ points on specific characteristics against their salary. For example, if they have a job offer in a shortage occupation or have a PhD relevant to the job.

There are different salary rules for workers in some health or education jobs, and for “new entrants” at the start of their careers.

Further information on which occupations are at the required skill level and the salaries for these occupations can be found in the Immigration Rules Appendix Skilled Occupations.

There is no general route for employers to recruit from outside the UK for jobs offering a salary below £20,480 or jobs at a skill level below RQF3.

If you’re not already a licensed sponsor and you think you’ll want to sponsor migrants through the Skilled Worker route, you should apply now.

Right to Work Checks

The UK Home Office has produced guidance and a checklist to help employers with the new ‘right to work check’ process which began on 1 July 2021.

Employers are no longer able to accept EU passports or ID cards as valid proof of right to work for new staff, with the exception of Irish citizens. Instead, you should conduct an online check for job applicants that hold digital proof of their immigration status in the UK, known as an eVisa.

A manual check can be completed for UK and Irish nationals who can use their passport, or other identity document, as proof of their right to work. You will also need to complete a manual check for individuals in the UK who cannot prove their immigration status online.

It is important to note you do not need to retrospectively check the status of any EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens you employed before 1 July 2021.

What do I do if I need to travel abroad for work?

If you’re travelling to an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein for less than 90 days in a 180-day period, you may be able to do some things without getting a visa or work permit, for example going to a business meeting.

You may need a visa, work permit or other documentation if you’re planning to stay for longer than 90 days in a 180-day period, or if you’ll be doing any of the following:

– transferring from the UK branch of a company to a branch in a different country (‘intra-corporate transfer’), even for a short period of time

– carrying out contracts to provide a service to a client in another country in which your employer has no presence

– providing services in another country as a self-employed person

Check the entry requirements and rules of the country you’re visiting to find out if you need a visa or work permit.

As well as the actions all travellers need to take, there are extra actions if you’re travelling for business.

Business travel includes activities such as:

– travelling for meetings and conferences
– providing services (even with a charity)
– touring for art or music
– taking goods to sell

How does Brexit impact data protection and copyright regulations?

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) continues to apply.

The provisions of the EU GDPR were incorporated directly into UK law at the end of the transition period. The UK GDPR sits alongside the DPA 2018 with some technical amendments so that it works in a UK-only context.

To find out more about GDPR after Brexit, visit the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) here.

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