Importing goods into the UK after Brexit

After the end of the transition period, import declarations will be required when importing goods from EU countries into the UK. If you are new to this, the following step-by-step guide will help you get started with self-filing for a standard import procedure. You will need to complete some preparatory steps on your own. However, AEB’s Import Filing: CHIEF software will support you during the actual handling of your import declarations when you import low-risk goods via RoRo traffic routes.

Getting ready for making a full import declaration in the standard procedure in 9 steps

Get an EORI number

To import in to the UK after Brexit, you need an EORI number. You can apply for an EORI number online. If you already have an EORI number, make sure that it is a new one that starts with GB.

Find out the commodity code of your goods

To complete an import declaration, you will need the commodity codes of the goods you wish to import.

Calculate the customs value of your goods

When you import goods from a third country, which will include EU member states, as from January 1, 2021, you must declare the value of your goods to HMRC. This value is the basis for determining the amount of customs duty and import VAT you have to pay for the import. It is also needed for trade statistics.

Find out if you need an import licence or certificate

You might need an import licence or certificate if you're importing goods, such as plant or animal products, or controlled goods, such as drugs, chemicals, or weapons. You need to apply for an import licence and get any other necessary documents or certificates before importing.

Learn about changes regarding import VAT

For businesses importing goods into the UK from EU countries after Brexit, import VAT will normally be levied when the goods enter the UK. However, if you are a UK VAT-registered company, you may be entitled to postponed accounting for import VAT on your VAT Return instead. This is possible if you use the goods you import in your business and include your EORI and VAT registration number in your import declaration.

Apply for a duty deferment account

After the end of the transition period, a new import tariff will apply to all goods you import into the UK: the UK Global Tariff (UKGT). Check this import tariff to see if the goods you import are subject to customs or excise duty. If they are and you import regularly, applying for a duty deferment account will allow you to pay duties by monthly direct debit.

Choose the customs procedure code applicable to your import

The customs procedure codes (CPCs) identify the customs and/or excise regimes which goods are being entered into and removed from (where this applies). You will need to select the correct CPC for your goods before completing your import declaration.

Get access to the government’s customs system (CHIEF)

Import declarations to HMRC need to be submitted electronically. Your company therefore needs to have access to the government’s customs systems in order to engage with HMRC for importing. Currently, this is still “CHIEF”. However, UK customs is planning to replace this system with “CDS” in the future. To apply for access to CHIEF, you will need a badge from one of five Community System Providers (CSP). CSPs are independent trade systems that keep an inventory of goods within ports and airports. Your declaration details will be verified against the CSP’s inventory before being forwarded to the CHIEF system.

Complete your import declaration using AEB’s Import Filing: CHIEF software

AEB’s Import Filing: CHIEF software supports you in filing your own import declarations. You will have to enter all the data required for your import declaration including the information gathered while completing the steps above. Additionally, you will need to enter information on the goods you import, such as the departure point and destination and the type, amount, and packaging of your goods. After completing data entry, a process flow with multiple stages will be triggered until your goods reach their final destination. Import Filing: CHIEF will accompany and guide you on every step of the way.

Will you do export declarations with a easy to use Software?
Will you do export declarations with a easy to use Software?

Get started with our easy-to-use customs software now!

Start importing:

100 declarations/year, GBP 92/month

  • Full control of import processes
  • Wizard to guide you through the declaration steps
  • Applicable for government grant
  • Low-cost entry to Basic price plan with Import Filing: CHIEF, 100 declarations/year, GBP 92/month

AEB has over 40 years of experience in customs management

+80 million

More than 80 million customs declarations run through AEB's certified data center each year

+ 4000

Over 4000 customers put their trust in AEB's customs management solutions


More than 500 employees give their all to achieve better customs performance

100 %

100 % integration: with customs offices, brokers, and ERP systems

Contact us to talk about your needs
Contact us to talk about your needs

Do you have other requirements?

Do you export or import high volumes (over 2,500 shipments)? Do you need integration in SAP or other ERP systems? Do you trade controlled goods? Do you want to automate your processes? We have a solution for you! Contact us to learn more.