Do you need indirect representation to import goods after Brexit?

January 20, 2021

With the Brexit trade deal finalised, your business may face a number of challenges when moving goods between the UK and the EU. 

Prior to 1 January 2021, free trade allowed companies to move goods between the UK and the EU freely; this meant no customs clearance and no boundaries. However, since the beginning of the year, if your company is involved in these types of movements you should be aware of changes to the customs process. 

Changes for non-EU companies looking to import

To move goods between the UK and the EU, you are now required to submit customs documentation and clear the goods at borders before they can be delivered to their final destination. If you are a non-EU business, this can be difficult as the law requires you to appoint a representative for customs purposes. Many freight companies and customs brokers will not act as a representative for customs purposes for non-EU importers as they do not want to take on the associated financial risks.

In this situation, you will need an indirect representative to import the goods. An indirect representative is jointly liable for the customs liabilities of their clients. This is a huge risk to an indirect representative arising from potentially incorrect customs declarations; therefore, it can be difficult to find a provider.

An example scenario

A UK company is looking to continue importing their goods to Germany. After Brexit, they no longer have a customs presence in the EU; therefore, they need to follow these steps:

  1. To provide a smoother customer experience, the company intends to ship the goods on a DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) basis to its customers in Germany.
  2. As a non-EU company, they are legally obliged to appoint a representative for customs purposes. Their shipper will not take the risk of becoming jointly liable for all import formalities (including duties and VAT) when they submit the customs declaration. 
  3. For this reason, the UK company now needs to engage an indirect representative that is established in the EU. The indirect representative will act in their own name but on behalf of the UK company. 

How Fiscal IOR can help

Fiscal IOR can support you with indirect representation services in the UK and the EU. If you are facing challenges because your shipper will not provide this service, we can help you find the right solution quickly. With our specialists’ help, you can carry on trading between those regions.

For further information or an obligation free quote in relation to this service, please click the enquire button down below or email

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