Changes to the UK-EU trade relationship took effect from the 1st of January 2021. Even though the UK successfully avoided a no-deal Brexit, new operations and formalities are still required for all electronics moving from the UK to the EU. Over 150,000 businesses exporting electronics from the UK to the EU will need to submit customs declarations for the first time. Whether you are an established exporter or just getting started, the valuable tips in this guide will help you when exporting electronics and computers to European countries.
To get your business ready for export, you will first need to register for a 12-digit Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number (EORI), which is mandatory for businesses exporting goods from the UK.
If you have been exporting using an EU number before Brexit, you’ll need a new one that starts with GB. HMRC will only accept your application for an EORI number if you have a registered office, central headquarters or permanent business establishment in the country.
Before sending the electronics, check if the business receiving them can import them in the EU. The buyer will need to provide you with their EORI number to include in your export declarations.
Keep in mind that even if a customs agent or courier handles customs on your behalf, they will still need your EORI number to complete declarations.
HMRC has introduced the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status for qualifying businesses in response to increased security requirements. While the status is not compulsory, it will provide your company with great benefits.
You can apply for Authorised Economic Operator Customs Simplification (AEOC) or Authorised Economic Operator Security and Safety (AEOS) or both, regardless of the size of your business. To apply for AEO status, you must be:
If you export from England, Scotland or Wales, the AEOC status can give you:
While the AEOS status gives you:
The standardised classification codes make it easier to check if any restrictions or charges apply to your electronics.
Find commodity codes and other measures applying to your export on the UK Trade Tariff. Before you begin, it’s important to know what your electronics are, what they are made of and their intended use. Most electronics fall under chapter 85, For example :
Chapter 84 covers codes for export computers such as:
You will need an export licence to export electronics or computers with military or potential military use, for example:
Specialist freight forwarding companies are often experts at dealing with customs; therefore, it is best to let your courier make the declaration for you. If your business is not established in the country, HMRC allows your road freight, sea freight or air freight carrier to act as an indirect representative. Customs law requires you to submit an export declaration before goods start their journey, and upon arrival, goods cannot move to the border location without permission to proceed. If your freight forwarder fails to submit an export declaration before departure, he will need to make a standalone exit summary declaration (EXS) if the following conditions apply:
Suppose you are exporting your electronics to the EU through Northern Ireland; you’ll need to submit an import declaration in Northern Ireland for the GB-NI movement followed by free movements from NI into the EU.