Tullverket

Questions and answers about Brexit

On 24 December 2020, the UK government and the EU Commission reached an agreement on a trade and cooperation agreement. Application of this agreement started as of 1 January 2021. This trade and cooperation agreement between the EU and the EU is new. Consequently, new information will gradually emerge. This page will be continuously updated with new information.

Origin questions in connection with the trade and cooperation agreement

Does the agreement with the UK give duty relief on all goods?

Under the agreement between the EU and the UK, goods that originate from either party receive duty relief on import to the other party, provided that origin can be corroborated. Origin is most often corroborated via a certificate of origin (referred to as a statement on origin in the agreement). However, corroboration can also sometimes be via the importer’s knowledge (see further information below).

Thus, goods originating from the UK can get duty relief on import to the EU and goods originating from the EU can get duty relief on import to the UK.

Why must goods originate in either the EU or the UK?

There are various rules of origin in all free trade agreements. They are used to ensure that it is only the parties to the agreement (the countries that entered into the agreement) who are entitled to benefit from duty relief or duty reduction. To qualify for duty reduction or relief, goods must have been produced or processed in: a way that satisfies the rules of origin; and, a country that is covered by the free trade agreement.

What does it mean if something is classed as an “originating product”?

Under the free trade agreement, goods have their origin where they are “wholly obtained” or where they have undergone “sufficient production”.

What qualifies as “sufficient production” under the agreement between the EU and the UK is set out (for each “description of goods”) in Annex ORIG-2: Product-specific rules of origin (an annex to the agreement’s Rules of origin chapter). This is where you can find your goods and see what rules apply for them to be regarded as an originating product. Even if your goods satisfy the rule in the annex, production or processing must always be more than “insufficient” (i.e. more than, for example, a simple packaging step – see Article ORIG.7: Insufficient production).

The meaning of “wholly obtained” is set out in Article ORIG.5: Wholly obtained products. However, this is largely about raw materials or products that undergo little processing. Timber grown in EU forests is an example.

Read more about the various provisions and concepts.

Under the agreement, how can I apply for preferential treatment when importing to the EU?

For goods to be duty-free under the agreement, you apply for preferential treatment based on a statement on origin or the importer’s knowledge. The EU Commission has made it known that once an importer has applied for preferential treatment based on importer’s knowledge, this cannot be changed later (e.g. at a check of origin) and preference requested on the basis of a statement on origin.

A statement on origin is a certificate of origin in the form of a special text on an invoice or other document in which: the goods are described in sufficient detail; and, the UK exporter gives a UK EORI number and states that the goods originate from the UK.

As an importer, you should use “importer’s knowledge” only if you yourself: have sufficient knowledge of how the goods qualify as originating product; and, can corroborate this via documentation. Which documents you may need depends on which rule of origin is being applied. If it is a value rule, these documents could be invoices corroborating the value of the materials from which the goods were produced. If there is confidential information in the documents necessary for corroborating origin and, consequently, you cannot access them or produce them for the customs authority in the import country, you must not base your application on importer’s knowledge. Instead, you must ask the exporter to draw up a statement on origin. Once you have applied for preferential treatment on the basis of importer’s knowledge, this cannot be changed later (e.g. at a check of origin) and preference requested on the basis of a statement on origin.

Where can I find a model for the statement on origin?

We have added the statement on origin text to the page with examples of various declarations of origin: Invoice declaration, origin declaration and the statement on origin.

The text of the statement on origin is also an annex to the Rules of origin chapter. It is towards the top of the relevant page in Annex ORIG-4: Text of the statement on origin of the UK version of the agreement (pages 509 – 510).

Which number does the EU use in the statement on origin and which number does the UK use?

The statement on origin text uses an Exporter reference No. As they do not have the same system, the EU and the UK do not use the same type of numbers.

The EU uses the REX (registered exporter) system. If you do not already have a REX number, you can apply to become a registered exporter. If your export consignments are only low value (maximum EUR 6,000), you can also draw up a statement on origin without a REX number.

Regardless of consignment value, the UK uses an EORI number.

Statement on origin or importer’s knowledge, which should I use?

The statement on origin and importer’s knowledge are two different “tracks”. They affect how origin is checked. The EU Commission has made it known that once an importer has applied for preferential treatment based on importer’s knowledge, this cannot be changed later (e.g. at a check of origin) and preference requested on the basis of a statement on origin. It is only when you apply for preferential treatment (normally on import) that you can choose whether you will apply based on a statement on origin or use importer’s knowledge. You can apply for retrospective preferential treatment, but only if you did not apply for preferential treatment on import (see point 2 of Article ORIG.18a).

The following apply:

  • If you get a statement on origin from the exporter, you can use it if the goods you are importing are originating products under the agreement’s provisions.
  • If the exporter cannot draw up a statement on origin because the goods are not originating products, then you cannot use either a statement on origin or importer’s knowledge.
  • To be able to use importer’s knowledge, your information about how the goods were produced (constituent materials included therein) must be enough to know that they are originating products. You also need to be able to corroborate, via documents, that the goods satisfy the origin rule/criterion that is being applied (e.g. value rule, harmonized system numbers or production process). Using importer’s knowledge also requires that the information and the corroborating documents are not confidential and can thus be shared with the importing country’s customs authority. This can be relevant where, for example, a corporation adheres to transparency of, and access to, information and documents.
  • If you cannot use importer’s knowledge, or are unsure about this, you need to find out what is relevant before you apply for preference. You can apply for retrospective preferential treatment, but only if you did not apply at import. If you cannot use importer’s knowledge, but know that the goods are originating products, you can ask the exporter for a statement on origin. If you are unsure whether you can use importer’s knowledge, do not apply for preferential treatment before checking what is relevant and that you have access to all the necessary corroborative documents.

What is the situation with supplier declarations in 2021, are there exceptions?

What about returns? Can the free trade agreement be used when goods that are already in the UK (or which are imported there) are of EU origin and are to be imported to the EU?

No, the free trade agreement cannot be used for returns, i.e. EU originating products that are in the UK. The agreement applies only to goods that originate in the other party. This means that the EU gives preferential treatment for goods that originate in the UK and the UK gives preferential treatment for goods that originate in the EU.

However, it is sometimes possible to use the EU’s ordinary re-import provisions. It is then unnecessary to corroborate origin.

If, within the EU, you use supplier declarations to corroborate that your goods are of EU origin, there is one exception from holding supplier declarations in 2021. If you used other means to ensure that your goods satisfy the rules of origin, but do not yet have all the supplier declarations to corroborate this, you can collect them throughout the year and, at the same time, draw up statements on origin.

By 1 January 2022, you must have received all supplier declarations for the certificates of origin that you drew up in 2021. If you have not received them, you must notify your importer in January 2022. The previously issued certificates of origin then become invalid and the importer has to pay customs duty on the relevant goods.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2254

Origin

What about goods and materials originating in the UK?

After the transition period, all the contents of goods, i.e. both finished goods and materials from which the goods are manufactured, originating in the UK will be regarded as non-originating. This means that no kind of EU proofs of origin can be issued for such materials or goods. This applies to all proofs of origin for preferential origin, such as declarations of origin, EUR.1 certificates and supplier declarations.

It is also important to review the origin calculations where a product acquires EU origin on the basis of materials or goods from the UK. Does the product comply with the rule of origin even when a certain part of the material can no longer be counted as EU origin?

What do I do if I use material from the UK in my product that currently has EU origin?

You need to review whether the product still has EU origin when the material from the UK can no longer be included. Does the product still comply with the rule of origin and the conditions stated in the origin protocol (e.g. more than insufficient processing)?

What do I do if a product no longer complies with the rule of origin, when material from the UK is considered to be non-origin?

Under these conditions, you will no longer be able to draw up a proof of EU origin for your product. However, you can review whether you can meet the rule of origin in another way. Can the material be purchased from the EU instead (with EU origin)? Or is it possible to buy other inputs from the EU (with EU origin) so that the product will then comply with the rule?

I have goods originating in the UK at my warehouse. I bought the goods before the end of the transition period and the goods were counted as EU origin at that time. Do the goods have EU origin after the end of the transition period?

No, after the end of the transition period, goods originating in the UK, or goods that have acquired EU origin on the basis of input materials with UK origin, will no longer have EU origin.

What about registered exporters (REX) and companies authorised to draw up different types of proofs of origin (TVFPU)?

Exporters registered in the UK will lose their authorisations or registrations at the end of the transition period. The same applies to companies that are established in the UK or have an EORI number from the UK and whose authorisation or registration has been granted in the EU.

Companies established in the EU must contact the customs authority if there are changes in the conditions for issuing a proof of origin. One such example could be that an input with components from the UK loses its EU origin after the UK’s withdrawal.

If companies no longer meet the conditions of the authorisation or registration, they must notify the customs authority thereof. In that case, the authorisation or registration will be revoked.

I have supplier declarations that have been drawn up in the UK before the end of the transition period. Can I use these to prove EU origin after the end of the transition period?

No, after the end of the transition period, supplier declarations drawn up in the UK cannot be used to prove origin.

Before the end of the transition period, I drew up supplier declarations for customers in the EU and some of the goods originate in the UK. Is there anything in particular I need to consider?

After the end of the transition period, goods originating in the UK, or goods that have acquired EU origin on the basis of input materials of UK origin, will no longer have EU origin and you should inform your customers accordingly.

What should I do if I have received supplier declarations or long-term supplier declarations? How do I know if they are valid after the end of the year?

You should contact your supplier if you are unsure whether the material or product was of UK origin. The same thing applies if some of the inputs are of UK origin, and you are unsure whether the article still complies with the rule of origin.

After the end of the transition period, goods originating in the UK, or goods that have acquired EU origin on the basis of input materials of UK origin, will no longer have EU origin and it will no longer be possible to draw up long-term supplier declarations of EU origin. Those previously drawn up will no longer be valid if the conditions have changed, i.e. if the product no longer have EU origin.

My goods were moved from the UK before the end of the transition period. The goods originate in a country with which the EU has a free trade agreement or unilateral preferential arrangements (e.g. a GSP country) and they have been customs-cleared into the UK. Some of the goods also have EU origin. Can I get preferential treatment if the goods arrive in the EU after the end of the transition period?

Yes, you can get preferential treatment in some cases. If goods originating in the EU or origin goods that have been cleared through customs into the UK have been moved from the UK before the end of the transition period but come to the EU after the end of the transition period, you need to be able to prove that with transport documents and also prove their origin. If you cannot prove this with documentation, you will have to pay full customs duty.

What if I export goods from the EU originating in the UK (or goods containing input materials originating in the UK) before the end of the transition period, but the goods are not cleared through customs in the free trade party (importing country) until after the transition period? Are the proofs of origin still valid?

The proofs of origin are valid for preferential arrangements within the period of validity stated in the agreements, on condition the goods were exported and the proofs issued before the end of the transition period.

Read more about how long proofs of origin are valid at the European Commission's website.

Can certificates of origin issued before the end of the transition period still be used for cumulation purposes if they include goods or input materials originating in the UK?

No, these certificates of origin cannot be used for cumulation purposes in EU partner countries or in a country with which the EU has unilateral preferential arrangements (e.g. a GSP country).

Read more about cumulation at the European Commission's website.

Authorisations and registrations

In general, what do I need to consider when it comes to authorisations?

Authorisations issued in the UK will cease to be valid in the EU with immediate effect. Authorisations of that sort that are registered in the central systems will be automatically removed.

Authorisations issued in the EU which were valid for the UK as well can no longer be used in the UK after the end of the transition period.

What do you need to bear in mind concerning UK EORI numbers?

EORI numbers issued by the United Kingdom expire once the transitional period ends. This means that all authorisations and guarantees associated with a UK EORI number cease to apply.

  • Companies established in the UK that have a UK EORI number can apply for a new one in Sweden but only after the end of the transitional period.
  • Norwegian companies that have a UK EORI number can already apply for a new one in Sweden, provided that they first revoke their UK EORI number.
  • A company established outside the EU can apply for a EORI number. The address where the company is established is be registered, i.e. not an address in the EU.

What about authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee for transits?

Authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee for transit can continue to be used in the UK after the end of the year. When the transition period ends, the UK will become a party to the Convention on a Common Transit Procedure.

However, formal updates will need to be made to the guarantee undertaking and the certificates (TC 31/TC 33) linked to the authorisation. The updates must be made within 12 months after the end of the transition period.

Will it be necessary to get import authorisation from other authorities in order to import goods from the UK?

Yes, in the same way as trading with other non-EU countries, you may need to get authorisation from other authorities. Contact the right authority!

Declarations and transports

Are there any new document codes to be entered in the import declaration after the end of the year?

Yes. If you declare goods from the United Kingdom for free circulation after temporary storage or after a special procedure (e.g. inward processing), document code Y067 is to be entered in box 44 of the import declaration.

What about transit to, from or through the UK?

The UK is a party to the Transit Convention since 1 January 2021, so it will be possible to transit goods. Please note that a transit customs office must be stated when crossing into or out of the UK. Security and safety data can be provided in the NCTS instead of separately via a entry or exit summary declaration.

As the UK is a party to the Common Transit Convention, when a transit declaration (IE015) is made out in Sweden with a customs office of destination in the United Kingdom (GB), a customs office of transit in the United Kingdom must be specified; cf. consignments to Norway or Switzerland. If a customs office of transit is not specified, the declaration will be rejected on the basis of condition C030; see examples of identified error in message IE016 below:

FTX+ACD+++The IE015 message received was invalid'

FTX+AAO++15+RNS:::C030'

Valid customs offices of transit in the UK can be found in the Customs Office List; see link:

Customs Office List

Please also bear in mind that the timeframe for transit may be affected because it may take longer to cross the border to and from the UK. In accordance with the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, Northern Ireland will be granted EU country status and a new country code (XI). Customs offices valid for transit in Northern Ireland will be published in the Customs Office List.

What is the time limit for the submission of a entry or exit summary declaration?

The time limit for entry and exit summary declarations is governed, among other things, by the means of transport, time and area.

Time limits for entry summary entry declarations

Time limits for exit summary declarations

What about the movement of excisable goods?

You will find more information on the Swedish Tax Agency's website (in Swedish).

Customs formalities are introduced as of 1 January. Who is responsible for submitting entry summary declarations?

When you are going to import goods into the EU, you must present them to a customs authority in advance. Before your goods reach the EU, you must submit an entry summary declaration. When importing, there are two possible declarations:

  1. An entry summary declaration (for which the carrier is responsible).
  2. A transit declaration (for which the declarant is responsible).

Read more about entry summary declarations.

If goods that arrive at the port of Gothenburg are not subject to the transit procedure, will the port present the goods for temporary storage?

Yes, the relevant port body is then responsible for presenting the goods for temporary storage.

What actually happens when goods that are subject to the transit procedure arrive in the port of Gothenburg, but have a different final destination? 

A transit advice note has to be issued. This involves the transit document (a copy with a readable barcode is sufficient) being physically submitted to the Arendal customs clearance office.

What actually happens when goods that are subject to the transit procedure arrive at the port of Gothenburg’s ro-ro terminal and the port is the final transit destination?

Currently, Gothenburg’s ro-ro terminal is not an authorised consignee. This means it cannot terminate the transit conveyance. Consequently, the transit must be terminated via a new procedure at the Arendal customs clearance office.

Customs formalities are introduced as of 1 January. Who is responsible for submitting exit details before goods are exported out of the EU?

When you are going to export goods out of the EU, you must present them to a customs authority. This means that you have to submit certain details a certain time before the goods leave the EU. There are three ways of submitting these details:

  1. An export declaration.
  2. An exit summary declaration.
  3. A transit declaration.

Most commonly, the details are submitted in an export declaration.

Read more about presenting goods at export.

Where should transit start when goods are to be transited from Gothenburg’s ro-ro terminal to the United Kingdom?

If the consignor has authorised consignor authorisation, the transit can start at the terminal. In other cases, the transit must be started at a customs clearance office.

Read more about Swedish Customs’ customs clearance offices.

When to use the new country code XI for Northern Ireland?

You use the country code XI when you need to distinguish Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. This could be, for example, for transit to Northern Ireland or on to Ireland. As Northern Ireland remains part of the EU Customs Union, no import and export declarations need to be made for trade between the EU and Northern Ireland.

What about temporary admission?

If goods are imported into Sweden under the temporary admission procedure before the end of the transitional period and are in the United Kingdom after the transitional period ends, the procedure must be concluded and the goods reimported into Sweden within 12 months from the date on which the goods were sent to the United Kingdom. If the goods are reimported into Sweden after 12 months, they must be declared for a new customs procedure.

If goods are to be carried under the temporary admission procedure between Sweden and the United Kingdom, the movement must be completed before the end of the transitional period.

If goods are imported into the United Kingdom under the temporary admission procedure and are imported into Sweden after the end of the transitional period, the goods must be declared for a new customs procedure in Sweden.

Is there anything special to consider about ATA carnets?

If the United Kingdom has issued an ATA carnet and the goods have been exported from the United Kingdom to a non-EU country and the goods are to be imported into Sweden by 31 December 2020, the carnet will be discharged in Sweden and the goods will be considered Union goods. If the goods are sent back to the UK after the end of the transitional period, this will be a regular export.

If an ATA carnet is issued in the United Kingdom and an export is made to a non-EU country before the end of the transitional period and the goods are then imported into Sweden after the transitional period ends, the goods can be declared for temporary admission into Sweden if the ATA carnet is valid. The same ATA carnet is used if the goods are to go on to the UK.

What about end use?

The following applies to goods that

  • are included in an end use authorisation issued by the United Kingdom and valid in several Member States
  • have been assigned to their end use before the end of the transitional period with the intention that the goods are to be sent to Sweden to stay here:

The goods must be sent to Sweden before the end of the transitional period and arrive at their intended use before the end of the transitional period, and the same applies to the transfer of rights and obligations (TORO).

If this doesn’t happen, a customs debt will be incurred by the holder of the authorisation in the United Kingdom. If the goods are moved under a partial transfer, a customs debt is incurred by the holder of the authorisation in the United Kingdom. However, if it is a full transfer, the consignee in Sweden has its own permission concerning the transfer of rights and obligations and a provided guarantee, and responsibility for the goods then passes to the consignee in Sweden.

What do you need to bear in mind concerning inward processing?

If a Swedish authorisation holder has a customer in the UK and sends goods to the UK before the end of the transitional period, the goods must be reimported into Sweden within 12 months from the date the goods were sent to the UK. If the goods are reimported into Sweden after 12 months, they have lost their inward processing status and must be declared again for a customs procedure.

If goods are carried under the inward processing procedure between an authorisation holder in Sweden and another in the United Kingdom, the movement of the goods must be concluded before the end of the transitional period. In this case, the 12-month rule does not apply.

If goods are being inwardly processed under an authorisation issued by the United Kingdom and the goods are in Sweden before the end of the transitional period with the intention that they will remain in Sweden, they are to be declared for a new customs procedure before the end of the transitional period as authorisations issued in the United Kingdom are no longer valid in the EU.

Where an inward processing authorisation issued in the United Kingdom relates to equivalent goods with prior export, the exports must take place before the end of the transitional period but the equivalent goods may be imported after the end of the transitional period with full exemption from import duties, provided that this is within the time specified in the authorisation.

Example
A UK company holds an inward processing authorisation for processing sugar into cakes. The authorisation is issued in the UK. The company has authorisation for equivalent goods with prior export, but within a time limit of 6 months. The equivalent goods must be imported by a company in Sweden.

The cakes – the compensating products – must be exported from the United Kingdom no later than 31 December 2020, but sugar may be imported into Sweden after 31 December 2020 with full exemption from import duties, provided that this is within the time limit in the authorisation (6 months).

What about outward processing?

If goods are exported from the EU or the United Kingdom under the outward processing procedure before the end of the transitional period and the compensating products are imported into Sweden or the United Kingdom after the end of the transitional period, EU rules apply until the time limit set in the authorisation, but not more than 12 months from the time the goods were exported.

If goods are exported from the United Kingdom under the outward processing procedure before the end of the transitional period and the compensating products are imported into Sweden or the United Kingdom after the end of the transitional period, EU rules apply until the time limit set in the authorisation, but not more than 12 months from the time the goods were exported.

If goods are exported from Sweden under the outward processing procedure before the end of the transitional period and the compensating products are imported into the United Kingdom after the end of the transitional period, EU rules apply until the time limit set in the authorisation, but not more than 12 months from the time the goods were exported.

Other questions

Will there be customs duties between the EU and the UK?

No customs duties are levied if the goods meet the conditions for being considered as originating goods under the Agreement and this can be confirmed.

What about duty relief for personal belongings when moving to the EU?

If you count as an immigrant, you can get duty relief for your personal belongings if your “normal place of residence” has been located outside the EU for a continuous period of at least 12 months. You can also count the time you have had your normal place of residence in the UK before the end of the transition period.

The personal belongings for which you are seeking duty relief must have belonged to and been used by you for at least six months where you have had your normal place of residence outside the EU. You may also count the time the personal property has belonged to and been used by you in the UK before the end of the transition period.

If you count as a returnee, you can get duty relief for personal belongings if you have been in a third country for work purposes for at least one year. You can also count the time you spent in the UK for work purposes before the end of the transition period.

The personal belongings for which you are seeking duty relief must have been owned by you and used in a non-EU country by you or a member of your household. If you are applying for duty relief for a vehicle, it must have belonged to you for at least one year before your return and during the period of ownership before your return, it must have been used to a normal extent in a non-EU country by you or a member of your household. You can also count the time the vehicle and other personal property has been owned by you and used by you or a member of your household in the UK before the end of the transition period.

The definitions of immigrant and returnee can be found here.

How should returned goods be handled?

Union goods temporarily exported from the UK, for example to the USA, before the end of the transition period and then re-imported into the EU after the end of that period, are considered to be returned goods if the conditions for duty relief for returns are met.

Union goods shipped to the UK from another EU country before the end of the transition period and then shipped back to the EU after the end of that period are considered to be returned goods if the conditions for duty relief for returns are met and it can be proved that the union goods were transported to the UK before the end of the transition period and that they are being re-imported in an unaltered state.

To prove that the union goods were transported to the UK before the end of the transition period, in the first instance, you must attach the relevant transport documents to the customs declaration. If necessary, additional supporting documents such as a rental contract can be provided. If requested by Swedish Customs, you must also be able to provide proof that the goods are in an unaltered state.

What about production equipment, such as tools, where the article is brought back from the UK after the end of the transition period?

Union goods shipped to the UK from another EU country before the end of the transition period and then shipped back to the EU after the end of that period are considered to be returned goods if the conditions for duty relief for returns are met and it can be proved that the union goods were transported to the UK before the end of the transition period and that they are being re-imported in an unaltered state.

To prove that the union goods were transported to the UK before the end of the transition period, in the first instance, you must attach the relevant transport documents to the customs declaration. If necessary, additional supporting documents such as a rental contract can be provided. If requested by Swedish Customs, you must also be able to provide proof that the goods are in an unaltered state.

Can the three-year time limit for duty relief for returns be extended?

No, the fact that the transition period has ended is not considered to be a special circumstance for the extension of the three-year period. Examples of what may be special circumstances can be found in Chapter 8 of the Customs Proclamation.

What about product safety and CE labelling?

You can find information on the SWEDAC website.

What about the handling of foodstuffs and veterinary checks?

The regulations of the Swedish National Food Agency and the Swedish Board of Agriculture must be fulfilled before the goods can be declared to Swedish Customs. Moreover, this type of goods may only be brought in at approved places of entry. Those places vary depending on the goods in question.

  • Live animals: Arlanda, Landvetter, Norrköping Airport (registered horses only)
  • Animal products: Arlanda, Landvetter, Port of Gothenburg and Port of Helsingborg
  • Plants: Port of Stockholm Norvik, Arlanda, Helsingborg, Malmö Air freight terminal, Gothenburg Skandiahamn, Landvetter. On request, Port of Malmö and Svinesund can also be used.
  • Foodstuffs: Port of Gothenburg, Landvetter, Port of Stockholm Norvik, Södertälje, Arlanda and Helsingborg

The goods must be checked by a border control veterinarian in the first EU country. This means that these checks must be carried out in other EU countries if the goods pass through there before they are transported to Sweden. Only when the check is completed will the certificates to be presented to Swedish Customs be approved by the relevant authority. In most cases, this is done digitally and added to the Traces NT system.

Read more information about trade in food and agricultural products at Swedish National Food Agency and the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

Swedish National Food Agency

Swedish Board of Agriculture

Last updated:

What is updated: Questions and answers that are no longer relevant have been removed.


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