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.

Register Your Business

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.

Consider Getting Authorised Economic Operator Status

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:

  • a legal entity,
  • established in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland,
    actively involved in customs operations and international trade,
  • EORI registered.

If you export from England, Scotland or Wales, the AEOC status can give you:

  • a faster application process for export simplifications and authorisations,
    a lower risk score and fewer checks on your documents and goods.

While the AEOS status gives you:

  • priority treatment for your consignment regarding customs controls,
    fewer requirements for submitting entry and exit summary declarations.

Classify The Goods

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 :

  • Code 8528 72 10 00 for exporting television sets and
  • 8518 21 00 00 for exporting speakers,
  • 8518 30 00 90 for exporting headphones and earphones.

Chapter 84 covers codes for export computers such as:

  • 8471 30 00 00 for exporting laptops,
    8471 60 60 00 for exporting keyboards,
  • 8471 50 00 00 for exporting CPUs and,
  • Code 84795000 for exporting robotics.

You will need an export licence to export electronics or computers with military or potential military use, for example:

  • Telecommunications equipment – subheading 8517 and
  • Radar apparatus – subheading 8526.

Make an Export Declaration

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:

  • the electronics have been in temporary storage for more than fourteen days,
    the electronics consignment has been in temporary storage for less than 14 days but the import declaration details are unknown or have changed.

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.

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