In 2020, the UK imported machinery and transport equipment worth approximately 84 million GBP from countries in the EU, making up the bulk of UK imports from the EU in that year. The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement drafted after Brexit came into effect in January 2021, bringing permanent changes to the import process. Under the TCA, all businesses moving goods between the two markets need to submit customs declarations and other paperwork. Companies importing machinery from the EU to the UK will need to adjust to the new customs processes, administration, and checks. Here is what you need to know about importing machinery from the EU to the UK.
Unlike other goods spread out across several chapters of the Harmonised System, heavy machinery falls neatly in chapter 84. Use code:
The UK and EU agreed to zero tariffs and quotas, meaning you will not face costly tariffs when importing heavy machinery such as agricultural machines, textile-weaving machines, printing machinery from the EU. However, to qualify for tariff-free access, you will need to provide documentation showing that your machinery originates from the EU. Proof of origin can be either:
A statement of origin completed by the exporter on a commercial document must include information showing that the product is originating, such as a supplier’s declaration. To qualify, the exporter must be;
‘Importer’s knowledge’ allows you to claim preferential tariffs based on your knowledge about the originating status of the imported machinery. If you choose to go with importers’ knowledge as your proof of origin, you’ll need to ask your exporter to supply documents detailing the production of the machinery, such as:
Your statement of origin will be valid for two years from its creation date. It’s best to present the document along with the customs declaration before entering the goods into free circulation. However, HMRC allows you to make a duty refund claim within three years of the date of importation provided that you give valid proof of origin.
If you are an established business, you are probably used to making declarations within 90 days of presenting your goods to customs. However, if you are importing heavy machinery between 1 January and 31 December 2021, you have up to six months to submit a declaration and claim a preferential tariff.
New importers will find that completing an import declaration can be very complicated and costly and is best left to a specialist freight forwarder or a customs agent. Here are the details to provide your air freight, sea freight or road freight courier so they can submit a full import declaration: