EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
- When does the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed on 24 December starts being applied?
It applies, on a provisional basis, from 1st January 2021 until 28 February 2021.
Given the very late conclusion of the negotiations, the Council adopted a decision to apply the agreement on a provisional basis, which will be followed by the legislative process set out in each MS's legal system for the entry into force of international agreements.
In the UK, the agreement was signed by the Queen on 31st December 2020.
- According to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, what conditions shall be met to benefit from the non-application of duties in the UK to goods of EU origin exported there?
The requirements set forth in the rules of origin in Title I Chapter 2 Part II of the agreement shall be complied with. In particular:
- the goods that you are exporting need to be originating in the EU according to the requirements explained in the following link: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/access-to-markets/en/content/quick-guide-working-rules-origin
- the exported goods have to be sent directly to the UK.
- the exporter shall provide the UK importer with a valid statement on origin To this end, the EU exporter needs to be registered in the REX system (for small consignments of less than EUR 6,000, the statement of origin can appear directly on the invoice). Conversely, in order to benefit from the non-application of duties to imports of goods of UK origin, the exporter shall indicate an identification number provided for by UK rules which - according to the indications provided by the UK - will be an EORI number.
Pending the introduction of the new EU REX platform, and considering the time needed for the registration, economic operators not yet registered in the REX system may indicate in the declaration annexed to Circular 49/2020 the EORI number together with their full address in the "place and date" box, subject to updating the data as soon as they obtain a registration number (as requested by the United Kingdom in the document The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA): detailed guidance on the rules of origin (V. 1.0) published on 29.12.2020 on the UK Government website).
Please note that the EU originating status demonstrated by the UK importer is a further condition for the statement in question (see art.18 paragraph 2 letter B of section 2 part 2 of the Agreement).
Export/import and customs formalities
- In which customs office can an export operation be carried out?
The office competent for export is determined based on the place of establishment of the exporter.
Should a different office of export be identified, it shall be identified within the national territory.
- May I submit the export declaration to the office where the goods are packed or loaded (in a domestic port or airport) or loaded for export (by road or rail)?
Yes, provided that it is a national customs office.
- I am an EU businessman. How will BREXIT change my business with the UK?
As of 1st January 2021, customs rules and procedures applicable to third countries will apply to commercial trade with the UK, subject to any specific provisions arising from the Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed between the EU and the UK.
Operators selling goods to the UK that have never dealt previously with customs procedures, may ask for assistance from the competent local customs Offices that will help them to deal with the operational changes related to BREXIT.
- I want to transport goods from Ireland to another EU Member State, transiting the UK. What rules and procedures apply for this transit?
Goods can be moved from one EU Member state to another via Great Britain with a minimum of formalities under a customs transit procedure.
The UK will be party to the Convention on a common transit procedure (CTC) as of 1st January 2021. This means that it will be possible to use the common transit with this third country through a fully computerised procedure using the NCTS IT system.
Furthermore, a transit declaration comprising all security and safety data may also be used in replacement of the ENS (Entry Summary Declaration) or the EXS (Exit Summary Declaration).
Customs formalities relating to the transit procedure may also be carried out using the simplified 'authorised consignor/consignee' procedures.
- I want to send goods from/to the UK. Can I use a TIR carnet?
Yes, since the UK is also party of the TIR Convention.
- Do goods moving from one EU Member State to another, in transit through Great Britain, need to make a customs declaration when re-entering the EU?
No, it is not necessary. In such a case, Union goods may move, without being subject to a customs procedure, from one point to another within the customs territory of the Union and temporarily out of that territory without any change in their customs status of Union goods. To this end, the Union status must be proven by the means provided for, where required.
- I am an EU business that wants to import or export goods directly from/to Northern Ireland (NI) to/from an EU Member State. Are there new procedures I need to undergo?
No. As of 1st January 2021, the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland applies, providing for the application of EU customs rules to the movement of goods among the Member States.
No specific customs formalities are provided.
- I trade alcohol products in the UK- How will BREXIT change my business?
As of 1st January 2021, the sale of alcohol products by an Italian trader to a UK purchaser will be considered as an export operation, that is the exit of excisable goods from the EU Territory.
Where excisable products under excise-duty suspension arrangements are shipped by road, for example, the export procedure is applied, providing for the customs declaration to be sent by the economic operator to the export customs office. The export operation and movement of goods under excise-duty suspension arrangements (with issuance of an e-AD) from the national tax warehouse to the place of exit from the EU territory are finalised when a report of export is issued by the export customs office and the relevant visa exit is affixed by the customs office of exit.
- How can I clear doubts or difficulties concerning customs procedures and related to BREXIT?
The Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency website provides useful information on customs clearance, transit and controls with non-EU countries, as well as on simplification procedures and customs reliefs. You can also:
Consult the European Commission website for all updates:
Gather information on the application of customs laws, on excise duties and export refunds contacting the Electronic Helpdesk at the following link:
For specific queries, please contact directly the competent local Customs offices.
- I am an EU businessman and I plan to continue marketing my products with the UK. From 1st January 2021, when the UK will become a third country, will I need an EORI number?
Economic operators established in the customs territory of the Union who intend to import or export goods to or from the UK shall have an EORI number.
To this end, economic operators shall register with the customs authorities responsible for the place where they are established (Article 9 EU Reg. no.952/2013).
Economic operators established in Italy are automatically registered upon presentation of the first customs declaration if they are recorded in the Tax Register.
In case a UK operator wishes to register in Italy, please remind that economic operators which are not established in the EU customs territory must register only in the specific cases provided for by Art.5 of Delegated Regulation no. 2446/2015. If requested, economic operators shall register with the customs authorities responsible for the place where they first lodge a declaration or apply for a decision. In Italy, the application for registration can be submitted to any customs office by filling in the relevant form available (also in English) on the Agency's website at the following link: https://www.adm.gov.it/portale/dogane/operatore/ecustoms-aida/progetti-aida/eos.
- I am an EU businessman and I intend to continue making purchases from the United Kingdom by carrying out permanent imports: with BREXIT, can I benefit from deferred payment?
If you intend to benefit from deferred payment of customs duties, you shall apply for an authorisation to defer payment and the associated use of a comprehensive guarantee - or for the updating of those already in your possession in case of increased duty amount.
- I am an Italian businessman and I want to continue marketing products of animal and plant origin. What controls will these goods be subject to when imported into the UK?
These goods will gradually be subject to sanitary and phytosanitary controls. They will have to be presented at border crossings and will be subject to physical checks and sampling.
The controls (SPS for animals, plants and their products) will be performed at UK border inspection posts and not at destination.
More information can be found, both for animal products and their by-products, and for fishery products and live bivalve molluscs, at the following links of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA):
https://www.ice.it/it/sites/default/files/inline-files/SPS%20-%20pesce.pdf - pdf .
- What certificates must accompany live animals (including equines) and germinal products when imported into the UK after 31st December 2020?
Such goods shall be accompanied by a health certificate and pre-notified by the importer.
Model certificates can be found at the following link of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA):
Further information on bovine meat from the European Union is available at the following link of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA):
- What certificates will be required when importing ostrich, pork and poultry meat into the UK from 1st January 2021?
Information on the certificates required for the above meats can be found at the following links of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA):
Preferential treatment and origin of goods
- I am an Italian economic operator and I sell my goods in the UK. How can I make sure they get the preferential tariff treatment provided for in the draft EU-UK agreement?
First of all, you need to ensure that the goods are of EU origin according to the rules of origin set out in the agreement itself.
To benefit from the preferential treatment on import into the UK, the goods must be accompanied by a statement of origin issued by the EU exporter, the wording of which is set out in Annex ORIG-4 to the Agreement. Or, as an alternative to such a statement, the UK importer, if he has all the information relevant to the originating status of the goods, may request preferential treatment ("importer’s knowledge"). See also FAQ 2 EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
- What information must be entered in the statement of origin of a UK exporter in the box concerning the exporter reference number?
The exporter's REX registration number should be entered in this box. In case of a shipment with a value not exceeding 6,000 EUR, you do not need to be registered in the REX system. See also FAQ 2 EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
- Where shall I affix the statement on origin?
The exporter shall affix the statement on origin on an invoice or on any other document that describes the product well enough for it to be identified.
- What documents must the EU exporter have to prove the origin of the exported goods?
An exporter making a statement on origin for exported goods must be able to prove that they comply with the rules of origin set out in the agreement and, to do so, he shall collect the necessary information from his suppliers. In order to allow flexibility in the collection of documentary evidence, the EU Commission has adopted transitional rules that will apply until the end of 2021, allowing the EU exporter to make out a statement on the basis of information already at his disposal even if he receives the formal supplier’s declarations only afterwards.
The exporter is still responsible, however, for ensuring that the statement on origin and the information provided is correct. The exporter must also have all the relevant supplier’s declaration by 1 January 2022 at the latest.
- I am an Italian economic operator and I purchase goods from the UK. How can I ensure they get the preferential tariff treatment provided for in the draft EU-UK agreement and that they are not subject to customs duties?
Goods complying with the rules of origin set out in the draft agreement may benefit from a preferential treatment. To this end, goods must be accompanied by a statement of origin issued by the UK exporter, the wording of which is set out in Annex ORIG-4 to the Agreement. Or, as an alternative to such a statement, the UK importer, if he has all the information relevant to the originating status of the goods, may request preferential treatment ("importer’s knowledge"). In box 44 of the import declaration one of the following codes should be used:
- U116 for statements on origin for a single shipment
- U117 for importer’s knowledge
- U118 for statements on origin for multiple shipments.
In the box dedicated to the exporter reference number, the UK exporter shall indicate his EORI number, whatever the value of the shipment.
- I import goods from the UK, if a statement of origin cannot be made on time, can it be made retrospectively?
Yes. EU importers can introduce a retrospective claim for preferential treatment of goods imported from the UK, for up to three years after the date of importation. This also applies for EU exports to the UK.
- I am the owner of a business and - in order to ensure that the origin and the tariff classification of the goods we produce and export were correct - I applied for BTI (binding tariff information) and BOI (binding origin information). These authorisations were issued by the UK Customs Authority. May I still use them in the European Union?
BTI and BOI customs decisions issued by the customs authorities of the United Kingdom before 1st January 2021 will no longer be valid in the EU from that date, as these authorities will no longer be competent to issue decisions valid in the Union.
Similarly, BTI and BOI decisions issued by the EU customs authorities to UK EORI number holders will no longer be valid on the same date.
- In the light of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, what are the requirements provided for in the rules of origin for the application of preferential tariff treatment?
According to the provisions of Title I Chapter 2 Section 1, products shall be considered as originating in one of the two parties (Art. ORIG.3) provided they are:
- wholly obtained in that Party, e.g. mineral products, plants and live animals (specifically listed in Art. ORIG.5);
- produced in that Party exclusively from originating materials in that Party; and
- produced in that Party incorporating non-originating materials provided they satisfy the Product-specific rules of origin.
The working necessary to confer originating status to the goods produced under point (c) is identified for each of them in Annex ORIG-2, referring to the relevant tariff heading.
For example, to confer originating status to the production of machinery, the tariff heading of the final product must be different from that of the materials used in its production or the value of non-originating material used (NOM) must not exceed 50% of the total content.
Some tolerances (Art. ORIG.6) have been permitted for cases where a product does not satisfy the Product-specific rules of origin (Art. ORIG.3 point (c)) but an originating material is used in its production: for example, for agricultural products and processed agricultural products the tolerance has been set at 15% of the weight of the finished product (Art.ORIG.6).
- Does the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for the application of cumulation rules?
The rules of bilateral (full) cumulation apply between the parties (Art. ORIG.4): for example, a product or material originating in the UK shall be considered as originating in the EU if it is processed or incorporated in another product in the EU, provided that the operation carried out is not considered insufficient (Art. ORIG.7). Thus, the product obtained may benefit from EU preferential origin in trade with third countries.
On the other hand, since no cumulation is provided for trade with third countries, if the product is made using a material not originating in either party, the acquisition of EU or UK originating status is subject to a sufficient processing in either party in accordance with the Product-specific rules of origin (production referred to in Art. ORIG.7 is insufficient).
- I am an economic operator holding a policy/guarantee to ADM for obligations under the UCC issued by a UK-based guarantor: is it valid?
No. These policies/guarantees remain valid only for transactions initiated before the withdrawal; for obligations arisen after the withdrawal, they must be replaced by guarantees issued by a guarantor established or having a permanent establishment in the EU.
- How shall I amend my policy/guarantee issued by a UK-based guarantor?
If the UK guarantor has established a new place of business in the EU, it will need to submit an addendum to amend the guarantee by updating the details of the guarantor and of the policy/guarantee and taking over all the operations covered by the previous guarantee;
If the guarantor has not established a new place of business in the EU, in order to carry out customs operations related to the policy/guarantee, you shall submit a new guarantee for the obligations arising from transactions performed after 1st January 2021 issued by a guarantor established in the EU.
- I am an economic operator holding a policy/guarantee to ADM for obligations under the UCC - issued by a guarantor based in the EU - and I intend to start also common transit customs operations with UK: do I have to update the policies/guarantees?
Yes, in the Official Journal of the European Union of 11/12/2020 (L 416/48) the text of EU Regulation 2020/2038 has been published, modifying the forms for guarantor’s undertaking set out in Annexes 32-01, 32-02 and 32-03 and Annex 72-04, Chapters VI and VII, of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447 which must be used from now on.
AEO and other “decisions”
- I am an Authorised Economic Operator: how will BREXIT affect my business?
As of 1st January 2021 AEO authorisations issued in the UK shall cease to be valid and AEO authorisations issued in Italy shall no longer be valid in respect of any premises in the UK. An exception is made for authorisations issued to operators established in Northern Ireland, which still remain valid.
- Will the benefits provided for by the AEO Mutual Recognition Agreement be applicable to all operators holding AEO status?
The benefits established in the Mutual Recognition Agreement provided for in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement applicable as of 1st January 2021 shall only be granted to AEOS Authorisation holders (security and safety - Article 38(2)(b) UCC) or in any case to those operators whose authorisation includes the security and safety component (former AEO Full authorisation).
- What will happen to applications for the customs enforcement of intellectual property rights and to the relevant decisions granting application for action by the UK?
As of 1st January 2021, the exit of the UK from the EU will affect the actions carried out by the Customs Administration aimed at the enforcement of intellectual property rights. Thus, it will no longer be possible to submit applications for the enforcement of intellectual property rights to the competent UK services. Likewise, decisions granting application for action issued by the UK will no longer be valid in other EU countries. Applications and granting decisions issued by EU bodies submitted in other Member States will remain valid in the Country where the application was submitted and in all other EU MS. In addition, for specific geographical indication rights, applications for customs enforcement may be submitted also for the territory of Northern Ireland. More information is available in DG TAXUD website.