VATLive > Blog > United Kingdom > UK warns Brexit tariffs & customs declarations

UK warns Brexit import VAT & customs declarations

  • Oct 19, 2020 | Richard Asquith

The UK government is warning today businesses to prepare for customs declarations and import VAT from the EU. A Brexit free trade deal with no goods tariffs or quotas was announced 24 December 2020. These come at the end of the Brexit transition period on 1 January 2021 when the UK leaves the EU Customs Union.

To complete declarations and tariff calculations, you will need to be able to identify commodity codes and calculate tariffs based on the UK Global Tariff. Contact Avalara for help on doing this.

The government has written to UK VAT registered businesses today alerting them to the following:

  • Import and export  process and declarations to move goods between Great Britain and the EU
  • You have the option to defer import declarations for up to 6 months, or you will need to start making full import declarations from 1 January 2021 
  • Consider appointing a customs intermediary to complete these declarations given the complexity and need to have certification with the UK IT customs (CDS and CHIEFS)
  • You can apply for a customs and VAT deferment account; or use your customs intermediary
  • You can consider import VAT Postponed Accounting instead
  • You will need to provide customs intermediary with the following:
    • how often you import and/or export 
    • the type of goods that you are importing, including enough information to choose the correct commodity code 
    • the quantity of goods 
    • the customs value – the invoice price for the goods plus any additional customs charges that must be included when calculating the customs duty due 
    • where the goods are going 

Explore more content like this in our Brexit hub


Need help with your UK VAT compliance?



Researching UK VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade. 

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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: richard.asquith@avalara.com. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
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