brexit e-commerce
6 minutes

What does the Brexit mean for UK webshops?

The impact of Brexit for UK shippers

As you will be aware of by now, the UK has left The EU and has announced that it will be leaving the EU Customs Union on 31st December, 2020. Whilst there are ongoing negotiations with the EU to agree a Free Trade Agreement, the best that can be expected from these talks is an agreement to not impose quota or Import Duty on some or all commodities on UK origin goods and vice versa.

In this blog you can read what impact Brexit has on your UK web shop and what will change with regard to parcel shipping to Europe. Are you an EU web shop and are you shipping to the UK? Then it is advisable to read our blog “What does the Brexit mean for EU web shops?“.

Who will be affected by the Brexit?

How much the Brexit will affect your webshop depends on the future relationship that is still under negotiation between the EU and the UK. Both British webshops and European webshops that sell to countries in the United Kingdom will have to take measures.

These measures pertain to shipping and sales policies. The disappearance of the free movement of goods and people can mean major changes in activities. The UK is likely to be considered a non-EU country and so the rules for shipping to the UK will change.

How B2C Europe can help

There will be a customs control process exiting/entering UK from/to the EU, to enable third parties, such as B2C Europe, to complete the necessary customs declarations. It will be necessary to make key changes to the data received from your customers. This page contains important information on the changes that will happen from 1st January, 2021 and how you can best prepare your UK-based eCommerce business for the Brexit.

Duties and taxes

The UK has already left The EU and will exit the Customs Union on January 1 2021, the UK will no longer be part of the single market. This means that eCommerce goods being sold across the UK and EU border will be subject to customs duties and taxes. These taxes and duties will depend on the value of the shipment being sent, the current thresholds for goods entering the EU until 30th June 2021 will be:

  • Under €22 – no duties or VAT
  • €22 – €150 – charge of 21% VAT
  • €150+ – duties and VAT (duties dependent on WTO categories)

For goods over €150.00 duties will be applied and the value of the customs duties payable will be dependent on the category of good (based on HS code) and given by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), under the most-favoured nation (MFN) tariffs. Please note that some specific categories of goods could be subject to different taxes and duties rates.

Upcoming changes to EU import process from 1st July 2021, we want to highlight that after 1st July 2021 the process for importing into the EU will change, it will not be possible to declare parcels in any other way but as goods sold to EU consumers from outside of the EU. This means the seller or the OMP must register for EU VAT and collect the EU VAT at the time of sale. This would then be payable to the respective tax authorities by the seller /OMP rather than import VAT being collected at point of import. It would therefore be imperative that sellers/OMP’s are advised of this and have the necessary processes in place including registration for EU VAT/ EORI number before 1st July 2021.

Register your EORI nr here.

Shipping methods: what are Incoterms?

If your webshop has never shipped outside of the EU before, you may not be aware of the term Incoterms. These are necessary for international shipments. So if the UK becomes a non-EU country with the same shipping rules, you will need to use Incoterms to ship from the UK to the EU. Incoterms are standardized international regulations for the transport of goods. They serve as a contract between seller and buyer and describe all duties, risks and costs associated with the transactions of goods. They are designed to avoid misunderstandings about:

  • Who is responsible for the cost of shipping, insurance, import and customs charges
  • Who is responsible for the transport and where to
  • When the risk and costs of delivery pass from seller to buyer

Of course, B2C Europe can help you through this process. We provide two options for shippers sending into the EU:

  • Delivery Duties Paid (DDP) Using a DDP option, the retailer (sender) is responsible for paying the taxes and duties and in many cases, retailers will apply these fees at checkout and directly collect payment from the consumer (receiver).
  • Delivery Duties Unpaid (DDU) With a DDU solution, the consumer is responsible for paying taxes and duties and they will be contacted directly to settle this balance before the good(s) are cleared and delivered to the recipient. There will be an administration fee per shipment plus duties & taxes. Once payment is made the item will be released and delivery completed. Now, 29th of October 2020, this solution is very unclear to be just operational from January 1st onwards.

You will have to decide whether to bear the costs mentioned above, or if your customer has to pay for them. That is why it is very important to determine your Incoterms, because they indicate who is responsible for these costs. Whatever you choose, always inform your customer clearly about this. If your customer is not informed, they can refuse the package. This means that as an online retailer you ultimately have to pay for the adjusted costs and the return of the package.

Data needed

If the UK leaves the EU customs union, all items going into or out of the UK will be required to have certain data to enable the item to be customs cleared. In addition to the minimal shipment data that is currently needed to send a parcel to and from the UK, you will need to specify the following data for each shipment so that the customs clearance processes can be completed. The following information will be mandatory for every shipment to and from the UK:

  • Detailed product description
  • Product quantities
  • Product sale price
  • HS codes (per product)
  • Country origin code
  • Currency code (EUR, GBP or USD)
  • Customer contact information (email and phone number)
  • Sellers/OMP UK EORI reference
  • Sellers/OMP EU EORI reference

Register your business here.

HS Codes

All items will be required to have HS Codes. This data is mandatory and necessary to complete the customs clearance process. The International Harmonized System (HS) is an internationally recognised system that is used to classify products. After Brexit all shipments into and out of the UK will require a 10-digit HS Code for the item to be cleared at customs.

For further information and to find out your product(s) HS code, please refer to the links below:
Taxation customs
Tariff Number

Extra reading material

Can we help you?

Once the Brexit negotiations are completed, we will have more concrete facts on how trade will unfold between the two entities. We will therefore immediately update this page.

In the meantime, you can already take a look at our page with the most frequently asked questions about Brexit. Do you want to know more about B2C Europe’s international shipping solutions? Contact our experts and discuss the challenges in your business regarding Brexit.

  • Tracked and untracked delivery services
  • Multi carrier services through one provider
  • Expert advice regarding the Brexit
  • Cost effective International delivery solutions
  • Easy integration through many software systems

The benefits of B2C Europe

Since 2000, B2C Europe have served eCommerce companies of all sizes reach their international growth aspirations with innovative cross-border distribution and return services.

As an independent logistics provider, B2C Europe’s multi carrier solution utilizes domestic networks to reduce shipping costs and provide a local experience for the end consumer.

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Optimise your cross-border strategy and enter new e-commerce markets easily!

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