Tullverket

Brexit – what are the implications for Swedish trade?

The fact that the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 with an approved withdrawal agreement means that trade continues as usual until 31 December 2020 when the transition period ends. Because negotiations between the EU and the UK about the nature of their future relationship are ongoing, it is very important that you keep yourself informed about developments and prepare yourself and your company as well as possible before the transition period ends.

Brexit with a withdrawal agreement

The third part of the withdrawal agreement contains specific provisions for, among other things, customs procedures which begin before the end of the transition period but end afterwards.

The EU guidance document on authorisations, customs procedures and rules of origin was updated on 14 July 2020. The guidance document describes, among other things, how practical matters are to be handled at the end of the transition period. One example is transports of goods between the EU and the UK which commence no later than 31 December 2020 and do not reach their destination until after 00.00 1 January 2021. Union goods transported between the UK and the EU are to be treated as union goods if there is a transport document proving that the transport commenced no later than 31 December 2020. This means, therefore, that union goods crossing the border between the UK and the EU after the end of the transition period will not be subject to customs handling if the transport document can prove that the transport started no later than 31 December 2020. Keep in mind that it is the EU time zone that applies, that is, 23.00 in the UK and 00:00 in Sweden.

Download the guidance document "Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of customs, including preferential origin" from the European Commission's website.

The European Commission has also published the document "Getting ready for changes", which deals with future changes in trade in goods between the EU and the UK. On the same page, you will also find the readiness notices that the European Commission updates over time.

Download the document "Getting ready for changes" from the European Commission's website.


Customs handling between the EU and the UK – is your company ready for the end of the transition period?

At present, we do not know exactly how the future relationship between the EU and the UK will be but we know that customs formalities will be required, such as the submission of customs declarations on import and export. It is therefore important to check how your business will be affected.

  • What sort of regulations apply for your company’s goods? Do you need authorisation for import to or export from the EU? Contact the right authority.
  • Does your company buy inputs from the UK to be included in the production of goods that are then sold duty-free or with reduced duty to a country with which the EU has a free trade agreement? Check that the article meets the requirements for EU origin even after the end of the transition period.
  • How are the goods transported to or from the UK? How well prepared is the transport company you use?

The UK customs tariff will apply to goods that are imported into the UK as of 1 January 2021. The question of whether customs duty will be imposed when goods are imported into the UK from the EU and vice versa is being discussed in the ongoing negotiations between the EU and the UK.

More information

Questions and answers about Brexit

European Commission information "Brexit – How to get ready for end of the transition period"

National contact points or Brexit websites of EU Member States

The UK customs authority’s Brexit page

Check an article’s rate of customs duty in the UK customs tariff

Stay up to date on Brexit by visiting regeringen.se

Follow developments on the European Commission's website

Read the withdrawal agreement


Last updated: 2020-10-27

What is updated: New information


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