Smooth delivery throughout Brexit

Smooth delivery throughout Brexit


On 29 January 2020, the European Parliament ratified the Brexit withdrawal agreement that had been ratified earlier in January by the UK Parliament.

On 31 January 2020, the UK has left the European Union and from this date a Transition Period until 31 December has started, as stated in the Withdrawal Agreement, allowing the UK and the EU to negotiate a Trade Deal that would be applicable as of 1 January 2021.

During this period, nothing changes for trade of goods and services between the UK and the EU. It means goods keep on circulating freely between the UK and the rest of the EU, without customs declarations or controls.

The negotiations between the UK and the EU to find a Trade Deal are still under way but no real progress has been made since February 2020. At this stage, whatever the deal will be found, it will mean for our parcel industry that between the UK and the EU:

  • Detailed data will be required to export goods
  • Customs declarations will be required for each parcel
  • The goods sent will be subject to VAT (and duties when applicable)
  • Inspections will take place on some goods imported or exported
  • Rates will change as a result of customs handling
  • Transit times may increase because of linehaul changes and potentially customs checks
Brexit infographics EN (92 KB)

Find out more about the data to be provided by customers

Read our "Brexit Guide"

4 necessary steps for businesses

EORI Number

EORI stands for Economic Operator Registration and Identification number. For any scenario, this number is mandatory for exporting and importing goods to/from the UK.
Apply for an EORI number if you do not already ship goods outside the EU. The registration for the EORI can be done via the website of local customs authorities. It can take up to 3 days to get this EORI number.

EORI Number = Country code + unique national number
Example of EORI number for a Polish exporter (country code PL) whose unique national number is 1234567890ABCDE → PL1234567890ABCDE

Commodities (HS code)

The HS codes are also known as Commodity Codes. These codes allow customs to identify the type of product, the VAT or duty rate that applies to the product to be exported. Goods cannot be exported or imported without these HS codes.

The HS codes can be found on this website:

1 to 6 are worldwide identical (except some countries)
7 to 10 : details of the commodities
11 to 14 : additional code at import impacted the duty code


For shipments done either via API (Application Programming Interface), an integrated system or EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), there will be necessary IT updates to be done in preparation for Brexit to ensure that data such as descriptions, values or HS codes are included and on DPD format.
Potentially, if data is not complete and/or incorrect, parcels will not leave the sending country.

Commercial invoice

A commercial or pro forma invoice is needed when you ship goods outside the EU.

  • A commercial invoice is used when the goods are related to a commercial transaction or for resale

  • A pro forma invoice is used when sending goods without any commercial value (for example samples)

Both documents are a declaration including all information related to goods, that will be used by customs authorities in order to evaluate the duties or taxes to pay.

As of 1 January 2021, for the B2C goods with a value below 135£ that will be shipped to the UK, the UK supply VAT will apply and will have to be paid by the shipper

After Brexit
Exports to the UK - Goods below 135£

For any specific question related to Brexit, please contact your local sales representative.