How to import to the UK after Brexit

Since the end of the transition period, import declarations are 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 to import to the UK using 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 to the UK via RoRo traffic routes.

Import Filing CHIEF from AEB for imports to the UK
Import Filing CHIEF from AEB for imports to the UK

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

Get an EORI number

To import 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 to the UK.


Calculate the customs value of your goods

When you import goods to the UK from a third country, which includes EU member states since 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 to the UK. 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 import certain goods to the UK, 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 you import to the UK.


Learn about changes regarding import VAT

For businesses importing goods to 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 to the UK in your business and include your EORI and VAT registration number in your import declaration.


Check if you should apply for a duty deferment account

The new “Trade and Cooperation Agreement” (TCA) provides for zero tariffs and zero quotas on all goods if they meet the necessary rules of origin. If you can guarantee that you only import products from the EU and can prove they are all of EU origin, you may not need a duty deferment account. In all other cases, you will need to check the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) to see if the goods you import are subject to customs or excise duty. 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 to import to the UK. 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.
AEB works with the CSP badges from Pentant and MCP. The badge required will depend upon the ports where your goods will be imported. AEB will be happy to coordinate the setup of your Pentant badge. For MCP, you will need to provide your own badge details.


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

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 to the UK, 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.

Import declarations with Import Filing CHIEF from AEB
Import declarations with Import Filing CHIEF from AEB

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

Import Filing: CHIEF

100 declarations/year, GBP 92/month

  • Full control of import processes
  • Wizard to guide you through the declaration steps
  • Save costs, file your own import declarations
  • 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

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

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

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

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

More information about AEB's software to clear UK customs

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.

Get a glimpse of the light mode of AEB’s Export Filing
Get a glimpse of the light mode of AEB’s Export Filing

Knowledge: Learn more about customs

Want to learn more about Brexit developments and customs changes since January 2021? We will guide you through the basics of exporting and importing and show you how our Export Filing: CHIEF software can support you.

Get a glimpse of the light mode of AEB’s Export Filing
Get a glimpse of the light mode of AEB’s Export Filing

Videos: Latest developments and support

Watch our videos and tutorials to find out about latest Brexit developments, get practical help, and learn how to use our easy-to-use customs software Export Filing: CHIEF.

FAQ: AEB customs software in detail

AEB's customs software supports you in handling customs easily and efficiently. Find answers to your questions about software features, purchasing, and implementation as well as how to use it.