Is your business ready for changes?
Four general principles to know
- Customs declarations are lodged electronically through the Estonian Tax and Customs Board's e-services environment e-MTA, and an EORI number is required.
- The customs declaration is lodged at each time the goods are received/dispatched/transited.
- The payment of taxes relating to the importation of goods (customs duties, excise duties, VAT) is made by means of a customs declaration.
- Goods are subject to both tariff and non-tariff measures upon entry and exit.
Four essential pieces of knowledge to benefit from
- The coverage of the most important topics can be found in the Guidance Note by the European Commission “Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of customs, including preferential origin".
- Negotiations between the United Kingdom and the EU are still going on, which could also have a significant impact on customs operations after 1 January 2021. Please keep up with the changes yourself, since the information is changing rapidly.
- Northern Ireland is part of the customs territory of the UK, but no customs supervision, controls or formalities shall be applicable to goods moving between Northern Ireland and the EU, where those goods move as an intra-Union movement.
- Country codes – with regard to Brexit, from 1 January 2021, two country codes for the United Kingdom will be used when carrying out customs formalities: ‘GB’ and ‘XI’. GB – depending on the context, covers the whole of the United Kingdom or the United Kingdom, with the exception of Northern Ireland. XI – used to distinguish Northern Ireland (the customs territory of the EU) from the United Kingdom, where this is necessary when carrying out customs formalities.
When to use ‘GB’ and ‘XI’?
Operator details: the country code is entered on the customs declaration after the EORI number has been entered with the data in the EORI database. If the EORI number does not exist or does not need to be provided, the whole UK country code is ‘GB’, i.e. also for a person registered in Northern Ireland, the country is ‘GB’.
When selecting the country of origin and destination , it is possible to select both ‘GB’ and ‘XI’ as the country. The selection of countries includes the codes:
GB – United Kingdom, except Northern Ireland; XI – Northern Ireland.
‘GB’ is always used to identify the country of origin and the country of transport.
There is no need to distinguish Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom to identify the country of origin and the country of transport.
- The transport of goods by road is carried out under a transit procedure, which means that upon arrival at the place of destination one must turn to the customs office of destination indicated on the transit declaration.
You can assess your company's readiness with the following materials
- "Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU" on the website of the European Commission
- European Commission's "Brexit readiness checklist" for companies doing business with the UK
- The UK website "Brexit: new rules are here"
Information on trade with the United Kingdom
- European Commission’s Brexit guidelines after transition period
- The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
- Use of code "Y067" on release for free circulation of non-Union goods
ASSISTANCE FROM THE TAX AND CUSTOMS AUTHORITIES
To get guidance on trade relations with a third country, please find the information on the Estonian Tax and Customs Board's website "Business client" – "Customs, trade in goods".
If you have any further questions, please contact our customer support at the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or on the phone +372 880 0814.
Information on customs clearance
In the following, we will draw attention to some of the most important aspects of trade with third countries.
- If your business does not yet have an EORI number required for customs clearance, we recommend to request it from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board in good time.
EORI number validation
Economic operators registration (EORI)
- Transport of goods by road
If goods come directly from the UK by road, then the goods are certainly subject to a transit procedure.
Goods shipped from the UK may be subject to a transit procedure in different Member States of the European Union (e.g. Lithuania, etc.). In the case of goods arriving by road transport, carefully check that all necessary customs procedures have been carried out.
When goods arrive in Estonia by road transport, it must be specified with the carrier, forwarding agent or customs agent before unloading the goods whether and what customs procedures have been carried out. Please also note that goods placed under the transit procedure must be presented to customs before the goods are unloaded. If you hold an authorisation for authorised consignhee issued by the customs authorities, you may complete the transit procedure independently without presenting the goods to the customs office. For more information, go to "Authorised consignee".
It is important to ensure that the completion of the transit operation and the subsequent customs procedure (e.g. imports for free circulation) are carried out.
The transport document (CRM) normally contains the corresponding indication "Transit"/"T1"/"T2". Goods that exit customs supervision are subject to supervision procedures by the customs authorities; the persons concerned can also become subject to misdemeanour proceedings.
- The UK accedes to the Convention on a common transit procedure (CTC). This means that the application of the transit procedure is governed by the CTC. The common transit procedure is used for the carriage of goods to or through a common transit country. NCTS is continually used for transit operations. For goods with non-Union status, a declaration of the type ‘T1’ is drawn up in the NCTS. For goods with Union status, a declaration of the type ‘T2’ is drawn up in the NCTS. The rules have been set out in the Convention on a common transit procedure of 20 May 1987. A more detailed overview is given on the web page „Convention on a common transit procedure".
- Customs declarations and related authorizations granted by customs authorities
- Customs value, commodity codes and potential customs duties
- Import and export bans as well as restrictions
- Sanitary and phytosanitary controls (more information on the web pages "Trade, import and export", "Phytosanitary control" and "Export and phytosanitary certificate" of the Agriculture and Food Board).
When planning the export of plants and plant products, it should first be checked whether these are subject to plant health control in the country of destination and therefore require a phytosanitary certificate.
- Use of the code "Y067" for release for free circulation of non-Union goods and renewed guidelines for Brexit’s post-transition customs operations
- Customs legislation
- Preferential treatment (how to apply the rules of origin, when EU products containing goods originating in the UK leave the EU)
- Market Access Database MADB managed by the European Comission
- UK Trade Tariff
- European Commission website "EU-UK: A new relationship"
- European Commission website on EU legislative measures to prepare for the end of the transitional period
- European Commission information material "Brexit: End of transition period. FAQs on tax and customs"
- European Commission guideline "Brexit transit business scenarios"
- European Commission guideline "Brexit export business scenarios"
- European Commission sectoral guidance notices
- Guidance on Excise for ongoing movements of goods
If you have not found the answer to your Brexit question, you can submit it via the online form on the website of the European Commission.
- UK information material "Border formalities between GB and the EU at the end of the Transition Period"
- Website "Get ready for Brexit" on transporting cargo via the Dutch ports
- Information on Brexit on the websites of customs authorities: Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands
Information material on trade between the UK and the EU
Last updated: 28.05.2021