What you should do now

To move goods into or out of the EU, you need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. You can register for and create an EORI number via the customs agencies in the countries that you operate in. This applies to importers or exporters who use a forwarder or customs agent for import and export declarations. You may also have to apply for accounts to pay VAT and any duty that is payable – these are issued on a country by country basis.

Decide who takes care of the import and export declarations after the end of the withdrawal period and determine whether you will submit import and/or export declarations to each customs authority yourself or whether you will use a forwarder or customs broker for this. It is very important that you make clear agreements as to who performs what action. P&O Ferrymasters can build capacity to produce declarations in some countries but you need to engage with us to arrange this in advance, we ask that you do this now.

Make plans now to ensure that your systems are ready to produce ‘customs proof’ invoices that contain all the information required to produce a customs declaration.   

Ensure the following information can be found on your invoice and/or packing list:

  • Seller’s details, including address and VAT number
  • Buyer’s details, including address and VAT number
  • Unique invoice number
  • Incoterms/delivery terms (e.g. DDP, EXW, DAP, CPT)
  • HS-codes*
  • Goods description that is understandable to a customs officer
  • Total gross weight and total net weight of the shipment
  • Total value of the shipment and currency
  • Gross weight, net weight and value per HS-code
  • Origin of the goods
  • Number of packages
  • Container number (if applicable)

* You need to classify your goods correctly; your customs websites can help you with this.  The HS (or tariff code) will determine the amount of duty you may have to pay when the goods are importer, it will also advise you if licenses are required to export/import your goods.

What can we do for you

Customs declaration services

P&O Ferrymasters are building their declaration capacity; updating system and recruiting additional staff to deal with customs declarations on your behalf. To help us prepare please contact us now to ensure we can reserve declarant capacity for you.  

Booking with us for 2021

You can continue to book with us as you do today. We would ask that when booking a load with us you confirm the names and contact details of the brokers who will create the export and import declaration for you. You do need to be prepared to share details of your goods when they are loaded and the MRN or entry number from the export declaration* – this must happen before the goods leave the loading point and must happen even if you are employing a customs broker, we are responsible for the ‘safety and security’** declaration that will need to be submitted, via the shipping company. 

* In the UK until the 30th June 2021 it may be enough to simply confirm that an export declaration has been completed for each load. 

** The UK will offer an easement on this for six months but this does not mean you do not need to supply this information as it will still need to be recorded by us to ensure vessel manifests reflect the actual content of our trailer or container.

Animal and plant controls

It is the exporter’s responsibility to organise and ensure that all documentation (physical or digital) is prepared in advance. Health certificates need to be shared with us and need to be carried by the driver. Remember that the importer of your goods may have to ensure the goods are declared to all the correct authorities on arrival in the EU.

Should you have any queries in relation to the above and the attached, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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