BREXIT PAPERS: Trading with the EU in the event of a no-deal

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The government have produced a number of papers about what might happen if the UK were to leave the EU with a “no-deal” scenario. The government remains adamant that a no-deal situation is unlikely to happen, but putting our boy scout hat on, it’s best to be prepared.  The full list of papers can be found here:

This week we are specifically looking at trading with the EU if there is a no-deal.

The current rules remain valid and in place up to 29 March 2019 and as a reminder these mean that businesses can currently move goods freely between EU member states. For customs, this means that businesses trading with the rest of the EU do not have to make any customs import or export declarations and their trade with the EU is not subject to import duty. Certain goods are subject to Excise Duty but these are currently free to move with the excise duty suspended (alcohol, tobacco and oils).

In a no deal scenario for businesses trading with the EU, the impact would be:

  • Businesses would have to apply the same customs and excise rules to goods moving between the UK and the EU as they currently do between the UK and outside of the EU. This may mean that customers duty may also become due.  Customers declarations would be needed when goods enter and leave the UK.

  • Likewise, the EU would apply the same customs and excise rules to goods coming from or going to the UK as it does with the rest of the world.

  • Businesses importing and exporting to the EU will need to register for a UK EORI number, ensure their contracts and international terms and conditions of service reflect that they are an importer/exporter and they will need to ensure they have plans in place for submitting the extra declarations that will be needed – this may incur additional costs. It is worth speaking to your logistics providers to see if they will be able to assist with this.


The full details can be read at:


GeneralRachael Savage