Brexit - Useful Information

There is an abundance of information advising businesses how the new changes will affect the outgoing sales of your goods post Brexit. We have detailed some information regarding some general points to consider for both our UK based and EU based sellers below.

   

However, there is much less information detailing how you get your returned goods back to you.  Luckily, we are here to help, as returns are our speciality!!

We ship goods back regularly from the USA, CAN and AUS into the UK and the EU. 


The same or very similar customs requirements will be needed for shipments of returned goods back to you in the cross border trade between the UK and the EU.    We are well versed in this process so rest assured that we can advise you.

UK Based Sellers

Shipping your goods back to the UK will now involve a 2 stage process:    an export from the EU and an import back into the UK.

 

To enable the import into the UK you will need a valid GB EORI number. We will need this information from you before we ship your goods.

 

We will ship your goods back to the UK under the RGR (Returned Goods Relief) scheme.  This declares the shipment as a reimport, as the goods were originally shipped to the EU from the UK and are now being returned to the UK in an unaltered state.  This is extremely important as it means that you should not be liable to pay any customs duties and taxes when importing your returns into the UK.

 

To ship your goods under the RGR scheme you need to be able to prove that the goods are returned goods.  It is a legal HMRC obligation to keep records of ALL your exported orders. So you will need to keep a record of all goods sold and shipped to the EU including the order number, tracking reference (or CN22 document if you use Royal Mail), courier used, date shipped and evidence of the original order and refund made. 

 

We will need evidence from you to prove you are keeping these records and a declaration to state that if the goods were stopped by customs we could call on you for this information. If your management software is integrated with our software then we will have all this information on hand.  Please contact us if you are interested in integrating with us.


A change in the shipment process from Jan 2021

 

Consolidated Shipments

To streamline the process your goods may be shipped under our Ezi consolidated services and cleared using our own dedicated customs broker who is fully versed in shipping goods through RGR. This may take a few days longer than direct shipments using couriers.  For most customers we will move your shipments to this service unless you request otherwise. Rates will be available by the end of December.

 

Direct Shipments using Couriers

Direct shipments from our EU hubs will still be available but most couriers are adding surcharges to deal with the customs processes required. Rates will be revised and published as soon as possible after we receive them from the various couriers.

 

Check List of what we need from you

 Before we ship we may need the following from you and we will contact you accordingly.

 

  • Your GB EORI number
  • Evidence that you keep records of your exports to the EU
  • A declaration stating that you can provide evidence of the original export of your goods from the UK to the EU as required under the RGR scheme
  • A simplified commercial invoice detailing the HS Code, description and value of your goods
  • A detailed commercial invoice containing the product information and full evidence of the original export

General Points for UK Based Businesses

 

The withdrawal of the UK from the EU will have some implications with regards to how you sell in the EU going forward from Jan 2021 as distance selling rules will no longer apply. 


Put very simply, this means when you send an item to the EU from the UK, this will now involve 2 stages:  an export from the UK and an import into the EU

 

There are 2 important consequences of this:

 

1. You may now need 2 EORI numbers. 

An EU EORI number to import into the EU (when you send your goods into the EU). 

A GB EORI to import into the UK (when your returns are shipped back to the UK).

 

To apply for a GB EORI number click here.  To apply for your EU EORI number you will need to contact the tax authority in the country directly. List of EU Customs authorities here.

 

Some marketplaces are providing solutions through partners to ensure compliance for EORI numbers and VAT. We strongly recommend seeking specialist advice regarding the potential implications for EORI numbers and VAT.

 

2. You will be charged customs duties and taxes on your shipment into the EU. This tariff will be calculated on the commodity code (HS code) of your items and the value of this product, the details of which you must provide on your customs declaration. 

 

Amazon and most other marketplaces are insisting that you send your goods DDP, with all taxes and duties paid, so that your customer does not have to pay anything on receipt of the goods.  If  you are unsure of the HS code for your products you can find more information here

 


More Information / Useful Links for UK Businesses

gov.uk website
British Chamber of Commerce Brexit hub

SimplyVAT.com

List of EU Customs authorities

EU Based Sellers

 Shipping your goods back to the EU will now involve a 2 stage process:  an export from the UK and an import back into the EU.


To enable the import into the EU you would need a valid EU EORI number. We will need this information before we ship you goods.

 

As your shipments contain returned goods, the shipment back into the EU should be classed as a reimport and you should not be liable to pay customs duties and taxes.  However, you must prove that the goods are returns by providing evidence of the original export of your goods. Please note that some EU customs authorities interpret and apply these rules differently and you may be charged duties and taxes that you then have to reclaim. This is out of our control.

 

Therefore, it is essential that you keep accurate records of all your orders and goods you send to the UK. This will include the order number, tracking reference, courier used, date shipped and evidence of the original order and refund made. We may request this information for each of your shipments. 

 

If your order management software is integrated with our software then we will have all this information on record and can proceed without your input.  Please contact us if you are interested in integrating with us.

 

A change in the shipment process from Jan 2021


Please note that most couriers are adding surcharges to deal with the customs declaration required. Rates will be revised and published as soon as possible after we receive them from the various couriers.

 

You will need to provide a full customs declaration on each of your shipments which will include the evidence of original export if your goods are a reimport into the EU. We will contact you for this information prior to each shipment.

 

We are also looking into the potential of arranging consolidated shipments from the UK to the DE hub where the goods will be cleared by our own dedicated customs broker and then shipped from DE to the rest of Europe.  We will keep you updated regarding this option.

 

General Points for EU based businesses selling into the UK

 

The withdrawal of the UK from the EU will have some implications with regards to how you sell into the UK going forward from Jan 2021, as distance selling rules will no longer apply. 


Put very simply, this means when you send an item to the EU from the UK, this will now involve 2 stages:  an export from the EU and an import into the UK.


There are 2 important consequences of this:

 

1. You may now need 2 EORI numbers. 

 A GB EORI number to import into the UK (when you send your goods into the UK). 

An EU EORI to import into the EU (when your returns are shipped back to the EU).

 

To apply for a GB EORI number click here.  

To apply for your EU EORI number you will need to contact your local VAT or tax authority in your own country. List of EU Customs authorities here.

 

Some marketplaces are providing solutions through partners to ensure compliance for EORI numbers and VAT.  We strongly recommend seeking specialist advice regarding the potential implications for EORI numbers and VAT.


2. You will be charged customs duties and taxes on your shipment into the UK. This tariff will be calculated on the commodity code (HS code) of your items and the value of this product, the details of which you must provide on your customs declaration. 

 

Amazon and other selling platforms are insisting that you send your goods DDP, with all taxes and duties paid, so that your customer does not have to pay anything on receipt of the goods. 

 

More Information / Useful Links for EU Businesses
Other Useful Points to Consider
Other Useful Points to Consider

Potential Opportunities

Whilst almost everyone involved in international e commerce does not welcome any form of Brexit there will be opportunities for those sellers that take the time and effort to prepare and work around the potential issues. 


We expect that some sellers will reduce or stop selling cross border as a result of Brexit, giving substantial opportunities for those that continue selling internationally. Likewise, some non-UK based sellers may reduce or stop selling into the UK, potentially giving up market share to UK based sellers in their home market. Only time will tell.

There are also opportunities to ship goods in bulk into the EU or from the EU into the UK and use one of our hubs to fulfill orders or forward your orders onto the end recipients or onto Amazon. Please note for our FBA sellers, if you send us stock to store and then send into Amazon at a later date, the duties will be suspended until the goods are sent into Amazon as they are only then classed as in free circulation

Please contact us for information and a quote on these services.


Software developments

The information required by customs can be far reaching when returning your goods.  Ezi Returns are continuing in their endeavour to make it easy for their sellers and have been working on software to try and automate the customs requirements as much as possible when preparing to ship your goods back into the EU or the UK.

This automation requires an integration with your order management software so the information can be easily retrieved when needed. Please contact us without delay so we can add you to the list of sellers requiring integration in readiness for the changes ahead.  Let us take care of your return shipments with minimal input from yourselves and you can concentrate on increasing your sales EZI!!

Potential Opportunities

Whilst almost everyone involved in international e commerce does not welcome any form of Brexit there will be opportunities for those sellers that take the time and effort to prepare and work around the potential issues. 


We expect that some sellers will reduce or stop selling cross border as a result of Brexit, giving substantial opportunities for those that continue selling internationally. Likewise, some non-UK based sellers may reduce or stop selling into the UK, potentially giving up market share to UK based sellers in their home market. Only time will tell.

There are also opportunities to ship goods in bulk into the EU or from the EU into the UK and use one of our hubs to fulfill orders or forward your orders onto the end recipients or onto Amazon. Please note for our FBA sellers, if you send us stock to store and then send into Amazon at a later date, the duties will be suspended until the goods are sent into Amazon as they are only then classed as in free circulation

Please contact us for information and a quote on these services.


Software developments

The information required by customs can be far reaching when returning your goods.  Ezi Returns are continuing in their endeavour to make it easy for their sellers and have been working on software to try and automate the customs requirements as much as possible when preparing to ship your goods back into the EU or the UK.

This automation requires an integration with your order management software so the information can be easily retrieved when needed. Please contact us without delay so we can add you to the list of sellers requiring integration in readiness for the changes ahead.  Let us take care of your return shipments with minimal input from yourselves and you can concentrate on increasing your sales EZI!!

Check list for UK and EU based businesses

  • Know your commodity code.
  • Know your tariff.
  • Know the origin of your goods - Country of Manufacture.
  • Do your products need a licence?
  • Keep your records of the original export.
  • Plan for delays.
  • Plan for increased shipping costs.
  • Make sure if you need 2 EORI numbers for import into the EU and the UK.
  • Get some specialist VAT advice.