What does Brexit mean for my customs matters?

At present, the United Kingdom (UK) still belongs to the EU. But this is going to change: on 29 March 2019, the UK will leave the EU.

In Brussels, the EU and the UK are currently negotiating on a possible transition period and a trade agreement. Once we have more information on this, we will make it available on our website. If there is a ‘hard Brexit’ there won’t be any transition period – you will feel the effects immediately. Therefore, you should prepare yourself as well as possible.

When the UK leaves the EU, different customs regulations will apply to this region

What does this mean in actual terms? After Brexit, you will have to declare goods you import from the UK, or export to the UK, or if you transport goods within the EU.

Here’s how you should prepare yourself:

  • Apply for an EORI number. You will need this number when you submit a customs declaration, or have it done for you, or when you apply to Dutch Customs for an authorisation. Please see: Applying for an EORI number.
  • Make sure that you are able to submit your declaration to Dutch Customs.
    • You can have your declaration submitted for you by a customs agent. This can be arranged within a couple of weeks. You don’t need any extra in-house ICT expertise. You can find customs agents by searching the internet.
    • You can use what is called a customs declaration-HUB made available by a software provider. This can be arranged within a few months. You do need some in-house ICT expertise. Please see: Overview of software providers.
    • You can use a declaration package made available by the software provider. This can be arranged within a few months.
    • You can build your own customs-declaration software. The development procedure takes more than a year. You will need quite a lot of in-house ICT expertise to do this. 
  • If you are going to submit your own declarations, you need an 'Electronic message exchange registration'. You can download the application (only available in Dutch).
  • Find out whether you need any authorisations. In our overview of customs authorisations you can see what you might need an authorisation for, and how to apply for it. Issuing authorisations takes time: apply for them as soon as possible.
  • In addition to these customs regulations, you might also encounter other formalities, such as inspections of animal products or additional rules for the export of waste material.

Being well prepared for Brexit will take you between two months to over a year. It depends on how you submit your declaration: are you going to do it yourself or have it done by a customs agent? If you do it yourself, you have a longer preparation time. If you wait too long with these preparations, then this time can increase even more.

The rules on excise goods will also change

Will you be transporting excise goods from the Netherlands to the UK after Brexit? This will then count as export to a third country. You will not only have to deal with the procedures of the MCS, you will also have to file an export declaration.

Will you receive excise goods from the UK in the Netherlands after Brexit? This will then count as import from a third country. You will therefore have to file an import declaration and pay excise tax. This also applies to goods that are subject to consumption tax, such as carbonated beverages and fruit juices.

Do you hold a 'Registered Consignor Authorisation'? In that case, you can state in the import declaration that the excise goods are being transported on under an excise duty suspension arrangement (EMCS). For example, to an excise warehouse, or a tax warehouse in another Member State.

At the top of this page you can find out how to prepare yourself for submitting a declaration.

For VAT purposes, the intra-community regulations no longer apply

Will you make purchases from suppliers in the UK after Brexit? Then you must submit an import declaration and pay VAT to Customs. Would you rather make a VAT declaration instead of making payment to Customs? Ask for a ‘Vergunning artikel 23’ (Article 23 authorisation) from your tax office.

More information about Brexit and customs procedures?

Javascript is disabled in this web browser. You must activate Javascript in order to view this website.