- Will BREXIT make EU customs rules not applicable to United Kingdom?
Yes. Using the exit procedure established in Art. 50 of the Treaty, the United Kingdom has decided to leave the European Union and not to be subject to EU customs rules.
The agreement on the UK withdrawal provides for a transitional period from 1st February to 31st December 2020 for people and companies. Thus, nothing changes until the end of 2020. EU laws and procedures concerning free circulation of people, services, capitals and goods will remain in force in the United Kingdom.
- Will there be a transitional period?
Yes. The agreement on the UK withdrawal provides for a transitional period from 1st February to 31st December 2020 for people and companies.
- What happened on the 1st of February 2020?
Nothing changes for customs matters on the 1st February 2020, because the agreement on the UK withdrawal provides for a transitional period from 1st February to 31st December 2020.
- What will happen on the 1st January 2021?
Unless otherwise agreed, the United Kingdom (UK) will no longer be part of the tax and EU customs territory (VAT and excise duties) on the 1st January 2021. Thus, the circulation of goods between UK and EU will be considered as trade with a third country.
Before that date, however, the European Union and the United Kingdom will have the chance to define clearer and better rules for goods entering, exiting or transiting through the EU and UK tax and customs territories. Thus, 2020 will be the year of negotiations between the UK and the EU (and its MS).
- What will change for travellers going to EU from UK?
The agreement on the UK withdrawal provides for a transitional period from 1st February to 31st December 2020. Therefore, until 31st December 2020 nothing changes for travellers at customs level.
On the other hand, starting from 1st January 2021 and unless otherwise agreed, travellers from UK to EU travelling with goods (in their luggage or otherwise) will benefit only from the same releases from customs duties as those granted to travellers coming 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 Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency’s website (www.adm.gov.it) as well as in the Internet address:
In the main airports the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency has opened the so-called BREXIT ZONE offices, where travellers may ask and receive assistance. In the BREXIT ZONE offices, travellers will also find, both in paper or electronic format – information brochures concerning new customs obligations travelling from and to UK.
- May Non-EU visitors travelling from United Kingdom obtain VAT refund when they leave EU territory?
Unless otherwise agreed, as of 1st January 2021, non-EU visitors travelling from UK will be refunded of VAT paid on goods bought during their stay in the EU, provided that such goods were presented at an EU customs office, together with the relevant documents for VAT refund, when leaving the EU. Please see also Guide for VAT refund for visitors to the EU
- I am an EU businessman. With BREXIT, what will change for my business with United Kingdom?
Unless otherwise agreed, starting from 1° January 2021, customs rules and procedures applicable to Third Countries will be applied to commercial trade with UK.
Operators selling goods to UK and that never dealt with customs procedures before, may ask for assistance to competent territorial customs offices that will help them to deal with the operational changes related to BREXIT.
- As from 1st January 2021, may I conduct customs operations for goods coming from UK in the customs office nearest my company?
The UK has expressed its intention to join the Convention for common transit, once finalised all procedures for exiting EU. Such convention represents the legal base for transit system both in the EU and some neighbouring countries, such as Switzerland. We do not know yet if and when the Convention provisions will be applicable to UK. However, the European Commission is working for an agreement with UK. Without an agreement, the EU will apply all rules and procedures laid down for third countries not being parties to the Convention.
- I trade alcohol products in the UK- How will BREXIT change my business?
Unless otherwise agreed, as from 1st January 2021, the sale of alcohol products by an Italian trader to a British purchaser is an export operation, that is the exit of excisable goods from the EU Territory.
In case of excisable products under excise-duty suspension arrangements shipped via 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 products under excise-duty suspension arrangements (with issuance of an e-AD) from the national tax warehouse till 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 given by the customs office of exit.
- I am an authorized economic operator: how will BREXIT impact my activity?
As from 1st February 2020 to 31st December 2020, AEOs (Authorized Economic Operators), depending from the kind of authorization obtained, will continue to benefit from the relevant favourable treatments in all the EU territory, in line with the EU programme.
Unless otherwise agreed, as from 1st January 2021, AEOs’ operations to and from UK will no longer considered as intra-Community operations. They will become import and export operations. Thus, from 1st January 2021, AEO authorizations obtained in the UK will no longer be valid, if no specific agreement of mutual recognition is signed. This is also true for those operators who have obtained the authorization in Italy (or in another EU Country) but trade also in the UK.
- What will happen to the applications for customs protection of intellectual property rights and to the relevant acceptance decisions by the UK?
Nothing changes from 1st February 2020 to 31st December 2020. Unless otherwise agreed, as from 1st January 2021, the exit of UK from EU will impact the actions carried out by Customs Administration aimed at protecting intellectual property rights. Thus, it will be no longer possible to submit applications for protection of intellectual property rights to the UK competent services. Likewise, acceptance decisions issued by UK will no longer be valid in the other EU countries. Applications and acceptance decisions issued by EU bodies submitted in the other Member States will remain valid in the Country where the application was submitted and in all other EU MS. For more information, please visit: DG TAXUD.
- How can I solve 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:
- Obtain information about the application of customs laws, excise duties and export refunds by visiting the URP at the following address:
- In case of specific questions, contact directly the territorially competent Customs offices;