Best practices for your EU suppliers from January 2022

There is less than a week to go until the next phase of Brexit. Have you confirmed with your EU suppliers that they are ready?

Incorrect paperwork could result in heavy delays or costs. These could be your responsibility as the importer (depending on your INCOTERM) so it is important that you ensure your EU suppliers are being compliant in their customs processes now.

Check with them now that they are ready for 2022. Here is what your EU supplier needs to know about the next phase of Brexit customs clearance regulations:

Goods vehicles require pre-notification and accompanying paperwork

All shipments will require clearance before passing over the U.K. border from 1st January. Air freight and sea freight shipments have been monitored since Brexit using the UCN model in ports, but customs clearance of your goods vehicles have so far not been strictly policed.

This will be changing from 1st January, 2022. Pre-declarations on the Goods Vehicle Movement Service will be compulsory for all road freight between the U.K. and the EU. Your haulier will need to match all paperwork, and the import and export declarations, to a Goods Movement Record (GMR) before the vehicle embarks. The vehicle will need to carry copies of all documents together in a “logistics envelope”.

EU suppliers should coordinate the following process to keep movements streamlined: 

– Email all documents to the export and import customs broker, with the haulier in copy. 
– Customs brokers process pre-notifications and email back all documents to the EU supplier and haulier. 
– Haulier creates GMR record.
– EU supplier, or haulier, prints off all documents for the logistics envelope, and provides this to the vehicle.

This will keep all parties up to date on the customs processes and highlight issues quicker.

EU suppliers must have a REX number on invoices over GBP5500/EUR6000 for you to claim preferential duty


Until the end of the year, you will be able to use “importer’s knowledge” to claim preferential origin on EU goods. From 1st January, any of your shipments valued over GBP5500/EUR6000 need to have a registered exporter (REX) authorisation number for your EU supplier on the commercial invoice in order to claim preferential origin.

If your EU suppliers do not have a REX number, they can apply for one here.

The REX clause must be included on the invoice in a format similar to the following:

“The exporter (customs authorisation number **********) of the products covered by this document declares that, unless otherwise stated, that these goods are of ** origin.”

Any shipments over GBP5500/EUR6000 will need to have import duty calculated as per normal rates. Check your EU supplier is registered asap. 

Note that “EU” will also not be accepted as a country of origin from 1st January. Each country will need a difference line on the declaration.

Some foodstuffs are banned, and all others will require pre-notification on IPAFFS

The following foodstuffs will not be allowed to enter the U.K. from 1st January:

– chilled mince meat (beef, goat, mutton, lamb, pork).
– meat that has been mechanically separated from poultry, game, or ratite birds.
– chilled or frozen minced poultry. 
– ungraded eggs.
– chilled meat preparations – EG burgers, sausages. 
– raw milk from cattle herds with bovine tuberculosis (TB).

All other foodstuffs from EU suppliers require pre-notification on IPAFFS, and the generated reference will need to be declared on your import customs clearance.

Copies of all documents must accompany health loads arriving by sea and air, in addition to those arriving by road. 

The IPAFFS declaration number will need to be on the original health certificate from 1st July. An original (not a copy) must also travel with the load from 1st July.

Highlights for EU suppliers and Brexit in 2022

– Process commercial paperwork for road vehicles quickly. Keep everyone in copy of emails. Give all documents to the vehicle before departure. 
– Register for a REX number. Add the REX clause to all commercial invoices. 
– Check foodstuffs are still legal to export to the U.K. Get into the habit of adding the IPAFFS number to the health certificate. 
– Check back with our customs clearance blog to stay up to date on changes. 

Need help with Brexit?

Universal Customs Clearance are here to help you. Speak to one of our customs agents for assistance.


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