Richmondshire District Council

New trading rules

New trading rules came into effect from January 2021.

The UK has now left the EU, and the transition period came to an end on the 31 December 2020. Ensure your business is ready to trade with the EU by checking the new rules that now apply.

Quick online survey

The online Check how to get ready for new rules in 2021 tool will guide you through a series of questions and provide you with a list of results to support you getting ready for the new rules. At the end of the survey, make sure you subscribe to the email updates on the results page to be notified about any new announcements and developments that may affect you.

Crucial steps for importers and exporters to take now

1. Ensure your company is registered for both imports and exports

Does your UK company have an EORI number that starts with GB?

From 1 January 2021 you will need an EORI number to move goods between the UK and the EU.

Apply for an EORI number. You should apply for this number in advance as it can take up to a week to get one. 

2. Make sure the classification of your goods (tariff/commodity code) are correct

Use the Trade Tariff to look up commodity codes, duty and VAT rates and find out how to contact HMRC in order to get help with a commodity code and what information you will need to send them.

Ask HMRC for help to classifying your goods, or find out how to get a legally binding decision on the commodity code to use for your goods by applying for a Binding Tariff Information decision.

3. Be ready for the new customs paperwork

Regardless of whether a deal is reached between the UK and EU, import and export customs declarations with be required for the movement of goods as of 1 January 2021.

It is estimated that the number of customs declarations will increase from 50 million to 250 million. Exporters are urged to speak with their customs broker or import-export agent who acts on their behalf. This is to secure the service an exporter needs beyond the 31 December, or to look at setting up your business to make declarations internally.

Customs declarations for goods you bring or receive into the UK or EU

HMRC has made funding of £50 million available to enhance its Customs Grant Scheme. Since the 29 July 2020, organisations have been able to apply for funding to reimburse a number of costs associated with increasing their capacity and enhancing their ability to complete customs declarations, ahead of the new rules from January 2021.

4. Check the new UK tariff for imported goods

From 1 January 2021, the UK will apply a UK-specific tariff to imported goods. 

This UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff, which applies until 31 December 2020. 

Check UK trade tariffs from 1 January 2021 that will apply to goods you import when the UK Global Tariff takes effect on the 1 January 2021.

As we approach the end of the Transition Period it is important that businesses involved in international trade use this time to prepare for life outside the EU, including new customs arrangements.


Sign up for the Trader Support Service

On 1 January 2021, the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into force. There will be changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Trader Support Service is free to use and guides businesses through any changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

For businesses that trade with Northern Ireland please sign up now

Transition period webinars for businesses 

Business Secretary Alok Sharma is encouraging businesses to sign up for a second phase of webinars targeting key issues, including personal data and regulations on manufactured goods. Please register for the following webinars:

Round up of latest news for businesses

A £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund will support small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) with changes to trade rules with the EU. Those SMEs who trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000. This will pay for each trader to receive practical support, including training and professional advice, to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU. The Fund will help businesses to prepare for the implementation of import controls which come into force from April and July 2021.

DIT has produced 60-second walkthrough videos for two online tools. Check How to Export Goods provides information for UK businesses that export goods out of the UK, while Trade with the UK provides information for international businesses that exports good into the UK.

HMRC webinars: HMRC is running a series of webinars for traders in the UK. The next sessions are: Trader responsibilities when using an intermediary, Importing-what you need to know about staged controls, and exporting-what you need to do to keep your goods moving. You can register for these webinars on the HMRC website.    

Full details of the United Kingdom and European Union Trade and Cooperation Agreement have now been published.  

The Cabinet Office's Border and Protocol Delivery Group have published the latest documents on the Border Operating Model

Guidance on wood packaging materials (WPM): Businesses that import or export any goods using WPM (pallets, boxes, crates etc) or supply WPM to businesses will need to meet ISPM15 international standards from 1 January 2021. Without this, businesses will not be able to move them between GB and the EU

Update to UK Global Tariff (UKGT): DIT has updated the UKGT guidance to clarify that the existing commodity code system will continue to apply from 1 January 2021 onwards. 

Department for International Trade

DIT and FCDO are hosting a webinar on the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences. The webinar is targeted at businesses with an interest in importing goods from least developed countries.

The Department for International Trade has published new information on: 

They have also published updated guidance on:  

Department for Transport

Guidance updates on HGV checking, carrying out international road haulage and driving in the EU.

Guidance on import licences and export licences for 2021 has been updated, including guidance on how to comply with REACH chemical regulations from 1 January 2021. 

DEFRA guidance

DEFRA has uploaded recordings of their recent webinars for exporters of animals and products of animal origin to the EU. 

In addition, DEFRA has published updated guidance for: 

DEFRA has also released updated guidance on labelling and marketing standards for the following areas: 


HMRC has published guidance on applying for grants for recruitment, training and IT improvements if businesses complete customs declarations. In addition, the following information has been updated: 

Other relevant guidance

Please visit the GOV.UK website for the latest updates on webinars for businesses.

Resources for businesses 

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