With Brexit, came complicated import and export processes and businesses will have to freshen up as fast as possible. Whether your business is importing wholesale fashion accessories, gift boxes and pet supplies, to sell on Amazon and eBay or you are a large company importing bulk grain or sand, here is what you need to know about importing wholesale from EU to UK.

Registration, Licenses and Certificates

Your wholesaler will require you to provide your EORI number before sending your purchase to you. If you are importing from England. Scotland or Wales, and you have been operating with an EU number, you’ll need to apply for a GB EORI number. To get this number, provide HMRC with your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, Government Gateway user ID and VAT and National Insurance number. You should have your EORI number within five business days. Businesses established in Northern Ireland can continue operating with an EU EORI number.

Tariff Codes

When filling an import declaration, you will need to include a ten-digit tariff code for importing wholesale from the EU to the UK. A Tariff code contains information regarding the identity of your goods, the amount of duty owed on your goods and the customs procedure to follow. Some goods like footwear, toys, textiles and plastics are difficult to classify, but most of the popular imports are pretty straightforward. For example:

  • To import wholesale plastic hair combs, grips or pins use the code 9615110000,
  • To bring in hairdryers in bulk use code 8516310000,
  • Use code 4909000000 to import greeting cards,
  • Enter code 9101110000 to bring in men’s wristwatches,
  • Import women’s leather handbags with the code 4202210090 and
  • Mobile phone cases using the code 4202321000.

To use the tariff tool you need to know the type of product, how it’s used, the production methods and materials and the way it’s packaged.

Here are some tips on finding commodity codes in the tariff chapters:

  • Enter a search phrase – An object may not be mentioned by name; instead, it may be listed under what it is used for or made of..
  • The search tool will return a list of sections divided into chapters.
  • The headings in each chapter describe a product, only select a sub-heading that accurately describes the item.
  • If none of the results accurately describe your item, check further down the list – if none of the sub-headings match your item use the ‘other’ heading.

Submitting a Simplified Import Declaration

After finding the correct tariff code, you will need to decide which type of import declaration to fill. If you are importing wholesale from EU to UK, it’s best to submit a simplified declaration followed by a supplementary declaration with the full details after receiving the goods. Since the process of submitting a simplified declaration is complicated and requires special HMRC authorisation, it’s best to let a specialist freight forwarder deal with this on your behalf. Also, if your business is not established in the UK then you must get someone established in the UK to deal with customs as an indirect representative.

Your courier must submit a supplementary declaration within 175 ways of importing. The supplementary declaration requires:

  • Consignors name, address and EORI number. A consignor is the last person selling the goods before import,
  • Total number of packages making up your consignment. For instance, code 1 for bulk goods,
  • Consignee EORI number. Customs requires this even when your courier is acting as your customs agent,
  • Type of agent representation. For example, code 2 for a direct representative and 3 for an indirect representative,
  • The declarant’s reference number and EORI number. An indirect representative will also need to enter their EORI number,
  • Country of dispatch – use the relevant country code,
  • Currency on invoice. For example EUR,
  • Invoice amount,
  • Mode of transport e.g code 3 for road freight and 1 for sea freight,
  • Location of the goods, i.e. point of unloading upon release from the border,
  • Description of the goods,
  • Packaging identification,
  • Commodity code and
  • Country of origin.

Decide Which Method of Transport to Use

Knowing which method of transportation you will use will help you know in advance who will handle customs on your behalf. If you need to transport large quantities and there is no time pressure, opt for sea freight. However, if you need your items transported fast and securely, air freight may be more suitable. For smaller items, you might want to consider using road freight and getting your goods by post.

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