Brexit for companies that have not previously traded with countries outside the EU

The UK government and the European Commission agreed in principle to a Trade and Cooperation Agreement on 24 December 2020. The Agreement came into effect on 1 January 2021.

For customs purposes, the Agreement means that the UK will be treated as a non-EU country, and customs formalities will therefore need to be completed, such as the submission of customs declarations for imports and exports. According to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, no customs duties are levied if the goods fulfil the conditions for being considered as originating goods under the Agreement and this can be confirmed.

This is what you can do to prepare your business:

1. Get an EORI number.

EORI stands for “economic operator registration and identification”. It is a unique registration number that is used for all customs-related activity within the EU.

Apply for an EORI number.

2. Ensure that you have access to Swedish Customs’ web services.

Having access to Swedish Customs’ web services will give you, as a business operator, a better overview of your customs transactions and simplify your company’s contacts with Swedish Customs. Unfortunately, the web services are in Swedish only.

Apply for access to Swedish Customs’ web services.

3. Learn more.

You can learn more about customs management and how you import and export on the individual pages devoted to these. This is also where you will find the video “Introducing international trade with countries outside of the EU”.

Read about importing and watch the video.

Read about exporting and watch the video.

4. Should you do it yourself or use an agent?

Give serious consideration to whether your customs management/transactions should be taken care of by your company or whether you should engage a customs agent.

5. Simplify your customs handling

It may be helpful to know that there are different types of authorisations that simplify your customs handling.

  • Deferment of payment
    Deferment of payment means that you as an importer pay customs duties and any other taxes and charges afterwards. You can get deferment of payment for up to 30 days. Swedish Customs sends out a periodical customs bill 11 days before the due date, but the 30-day period starts from the date the goods are released.

  • Comprehensive guarantee
    For some procedures, you need to provide a guarantee. A comprehensive guarantee means that you provide a guarantee for customs duties and other charges for two or more declarations or customs procedures at once. You must have authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee. You also need a separate authorisation for the procedure to which the guarantee relates. Examples of procedures where you must have authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee are deferment of payment and customs warehouses.

  • What is the purpose of your import or export?
    Importing and exporting goods does not require special authorisation in itself but you do need to have an EORI number. However, if, for example, you have goods coming to Sweden from the UK which are either going back there or on to another country outside the EU, or if you bring in seasonal goods, there are different handling alternatives, some of which require authorisation. A common situation could be that you want to defer payment of customs duty, tax or other charges until you are going to use the article. Other examples are temporary storage, customs warehouses, transit, inward processing and temporary admission.

More information about developments

Read the EU Commission’s information about Brexit.

Stay up-to-date on Brexit and other important issues related to customs handling. Subscribe to our Newsletter Tullnytt. (In Swedish only)

Read the agreement.

Last updated:

What is updated: The transition period has ended and UK is now formally a third country.

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