The UK and EU markets and supply chains for automotive and automotive parts are highly intertwined. Every day, over 1000 trucks carrying £35 million worth of automotive parts enter the UK from the continent. And each day, these automotive parts are transformed into 6,400 cars and 10,500 engines, most of which are exported back to EU customers. Before Brexit, freight vehicles exporting automotive parts from the UK to the EU did not need to undergo checks at customs. Great Britain permanently exited the European Union, but the two regions agreed to a Trade and Cooperation Agreement to avoid severe damage to their trade connections. The TCA came into effect on 1 January 2021, and with it, new export processes and checks. If you are a company exporting automotive parts from the UK to the EU in 2021, here is what you need to do.

Update Your Registration Details

Previous EU simplifications allowed businesses to export using EORI numbers from any EU country. However, under the TCA, traders exporting from England, Scotland or Wales will need to get a GB EORI number. Companies exporting from Northern Ireland, however, can keep operating with EU numbers.

To get a new EORI number, you need to contact HMRC and provide them with the following details:

  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference Number,
  • Your Government Gateway User ID and password,
  • Your Standard Industrial Classification Code,
  • Your National Insurance Number, and
  • VAT number if you are VAT registered.

If you export your automotive parts through Northern Ireland or directly from Northern Ireland, you will need to get an EORI number starting with XI. This is because you will need an XI EORI number to make declarations in NI. You must obtain a GB EORI number before applying to get an XI EORI number. Once you have your GB EORI number, contact HMRC and provide them with:

  • Your VAT number – an XI VAT number or one issued by an EU country,
  • Proof that you are a permanent business establishment in Northern Ireland.

Get The Classification Codes for Your Export

Commodity codes will tell you how much duty and VAT to pay for your automotive parts and whether you require a special licence. The Heading 8703 under chapter 87 covers commodity codes for exporting cars. Use code:

  • 8703 23 19 00 to export cars using spark-ignition petrol engines,
  • 8703 32 19 00 to export cars using compression-ignition diesel engines, and
  • 8703 80 10 00 to export cars powered by an electric motor only.

Car parts fall under chapters 84, 85 and 87, with the majority falling under chapter 87. Export car parts such as service parts, brakes and engine parts using the codes:

  • 8421 23 00 90 for fuel filters,
  • 8511 20 00 90 for dynamos,
  • 8708 30 91 20 for brake pads,
  • 8708 80 20 10 for shock absorbers,
  • 8708 10 10 10 for bumpers.

Bicycles and motorbikes fall under chapter 87. For example, use the code:

  • 8712003010 to export bicycles consigned from Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka or Tunisia.
  • 8712003020 to export bicycles consigned from Cambodia, Pakistan or the Philippines.
  • 8712007010 to export bicycles designed for children e.g. unicycles.
  • 8711400000 to export motorbikes with 800cc like the 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx.
  • 8711500000 to export motorbikes with 1000cc like the Ducati Multistrada 950.
  • 8711900000 to export motorbikes powered by an electric motor such as the Harley Davidson LiveWire.

Get Someone to Deal with Customs and Transport the Goods

Under the regulations of the TCA, you will need to fill in an export declaration for your automotive parts. If you wish to make declarations yourself, you can choose to make a:

  • full declaration or
  • simplified declaration, if you are authorised to do so

You’ll need:

  • access to the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system, and
  • software that can submit declarations.

It’s best to let someone make the declaration on your behalf, such as a customs agent or specialist freight forwarding company, to avoid complications with customs. Road freight couriers operating between the UK and Europe often have HMRC authorisation to act as direct or direct representatives, so consider asking your courier for assistance.

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