How to prepare for Brexit

In the absence of an exit agreement, which would establish a transitional period until the end of 2020 (with the possibility of extension provided for in the exit agreement), the United Kingdom will be treated as a non-EU country for customs purposes from March 30, 2019.
It is urgent that EU companies, if they have not already done so, start preparing for the exit from the UK.

Brexit will affect your company if …
… sale of goods or services to the United Kingdom, or
… buy goods or receive services from the United Kingdom, or
… transport goods through the UK.

What does this mean?
Without a transitional period (provided for in the exit agreement) or a definitive agreement, as from 30 March 2019, trade relations with the United Kingdom will be governed by general WTO rules, without the application of preferences.

This means in particular that:

  • Customs formalities shall be applied, declarations shall be made, and customs authorities may require guarantees for potential or existing customs debts.
  • Customs duties will be levied on goods entering the EU from the United Kingdom with no preferences.
  • Prohibitions or restrictions on certain goods entering the EU from the United Kingdom may also apply, which means that import or export licenses may be required.
  • Import and export licenses issued by the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the EU (EU-27).
  • Authorisations for simplifications or customs procedures, such as customs warehousing, issued by the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the EU (EU-27).
  • Authorised economic operator (AEO) authorisations issued by the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the EU (EU-27).
  • Member States shall charge VAT on imports of goods entering the EU from the United Kingdom. Exports to the UK will be exempt from VAT.
  • The rules on the declaration and payment of VAT (for e-services, for example) and cross-border VAT refunds will be changed.
  • The movement of goods into the United Kingdom will require an export declaration. The movement of goods subject to excise duty for the United Kingdom may also require an electronic administrative document (eAD).

What should you do?
All affected companies must prepare, make all necessary decisions and carry out all necessary administrative actions by March 30, 2019 in order to avoid disturbances.

Check the following checklist and know what practical steps you should take as soon as possible to be prepared.

Brexit Control List for Operators
Make sure your company has business dealings with the UK or if it transports goods through the UK.

If so:


  • Register your company in the national customs authority if you have not already done so in order to be able to do business with third countries. You can find the contact details of the national customs authorities in this list.


  • Make sure your business is ready to continue your business with or through the UK, that is, if you have:

1. human capacity (personnel with training in customs matters);
2. technical capacity (electronic systems and others); and
3. custom authorisations, such as those relating to special arrangements (storage, processing or goods covered by the ‘specific use’ rule).

Please consult your national customs authority about existing customs facilitation and facilitation available to your company, such as:

1. simplifications for placing goods under a customs procedure;
2. global guarantees, with reduced amounts or waivers;
3. simplifications relating to transit systems.


  • Consider applying to your national customs authority for the status of authorised economic operator (AEO).

  • If you are registered with the UK one-stop shop for VAT, register in an EU-27 Member State.

  • Dacă aţi plătit TVA în Regatul Unit în 2018, depunţi cererile de rambursare a TVA cu cientent timp înainte de 29 martie 2019 pentru ca acestea să poată fi procesate înainte de data respectivă.

  • If you have paid VAT in the UK in 2018, file your VAT refund request before March 29, 2019 for your order to be processed before that date.

  • Talk to your trading partners (suppliers, brokers, brokers, etc.), as Brexit can also influence your supply chain.

  • Check out our online customs and tax learning page to see if anyone in your company needs additional training.

For more detailed technical information, please consult the European Commission’s webpage containing thematic briefings on the preparations for Brexit covering a wide range of subjects, including customs and tax matters. For more information and assistance, contact your national authorities, your chamber of commerce and industry or your industry association.

Source: European Commission