- 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).
- 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.
- What will change for travellers arriving in the EU from the UK?
As of 1st January 2021, travellers from the UK arriving in the EU carrying goods (in their luggage or elsewhere) will only benefit from the same reliefs from customs duties as those granted to travellers arriving from non-EU countries (VAT and import duty exemption and, if applicable, excise duty exemption). Specific information about the goods concerned and the relevant benefits can be found in the Traveller’s Customs Charter https://www.adm.gov.it/portale/dogane/cittadino/carta-doganale-viaggiatore as well as at the following link: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/individuals/travelling/entering-eu_en.
In major airports, the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency has opened the so-called BREXIT ZONE offices, where travellers may ask for and receive assistance.
- Can non-EU citizens travelling from the United Kingdom obtain VAT refunds when leaving the EU territory?
As of 1st January 2021, non-EU visitors having their residence or domicile in the UK will be refunded VAT paid on goods bought for personal use during their stay in the EU, provided that such goods were presented at an EU customs office, together with the relevant documents for a VAT refund, when leaving the EU. For further details, see: https://www.adm.gov.it/portale/dogane/cittadino/rimborso-iva
- I want to move residence from UK to Italy after January 2021. Will my personal belongings be subject to the payment of duties and VAT and to customs formalities?
Personal property of individuals that are moving their normal residence to Italy from UK is generally entitled to VAT and customs duty relief, subject to the conditions set out respectively by Articles 3 to 11 of Regulation (EC) No 1186/2009 for duties and by Articles 2 and 3 of Ministerial Decree No 489 of 1997 for VAT. In particular, one of the conditions to benefit from the exemption, with some exceptions, is to have lived outside the EU territory for a continuous period of at least 12 months and to have used the goods concerned for at least six months.
To import the above goods, the person concerned shall apply for a special authorisation at the customs office competent for the place of arrival of the goods.
Alcoholic products, tobacco and tobacco products, means of transport for commercial use, articles for use in the exercise of a trade or profession, other than portable instruments of the applied or liberal arts are not entitled to any relief.
For further details on specific categories of goods (e.g. gifts, inheritances, etc.), please refer to the additional FAQs available at the following link: https://www.adm.gov.it/portale/-/faq-dogane-accise#franchigie.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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):
- I intend to buy products from a retailer based in the UK, do I have to pay customs duties?
As of 1st January 2021, the UK became a non-EU country, so the customs rules in force in the EU apply to commercial transactions (including online transactions). In particular, when goods not originating in the EU arrive at the border to be imported into the European Union, customs duties must be paid. There are several customs levies, the most significant are customs duties and VAT. Generally, in case of purchases made by private citizens, the relations with Customs and related formalities (e.g. submitting the import customs declaration) are handled by private operators who provide this ancillary service to the purchase, upon payment of an agreed remuneration.
Following the EU-UK trade agreement, applicable from 1st January 2021, goods originating in the UK are exempted from duties, but still subject to VAT.
The fact that the goods come from the UK is not necessarily a proof of their ORIGIN as shown, for example, in the following situations:
- a dealer in the UK sells to a buyer in the EU goods produced in China, without any further processing/working in the UK (necessary to consider the product as originating in the UK according to the EU-UK agreement); in this case, the goods are not originating in the UK but in China; therefore, in order to receive them, the buyer shall pay the duties according to the EU tariff, as if the good came directly from China;
- a dealer in the UK sells to a buyer in the EU goods (e.g. salmon) wholly obtained / wholly produced in the UK and can prove it, under the EU rules and the Trade Agreement; in this case duties are not due.
When the goods are delivered, they are usually accompanied by a document indicating, among the expenditure items, generic "customs charges": in this case, in view of the above, it is advisable to contact the intermediary chosen to ask for justifications and to verify what the sums are requested for (duties, VAT, or other non-customs charges). Please note that terms such as "customs clearance fees", "charges for customs formalities", "customs services", etc. refer to services provided by private parties and are not collected by the Customs Authorities.