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Brexit negotiations: what are the consequences for customs compliance?

Now that the United Kingdom has decided to leave the European Union, it is necessary to consider the consequences for customs. The first negotiations about the conditions of leaving the EU have started in Brussels. The negotiations take place between the British Brexit minister David Davis and EU Head Negotiator Michel Barnier.

Topics such as civilian rights, financial settlement and the solution for the border between Ireland and British Northern Ireland must make sufficient progress before discussing the future relationship.

The Dutch Customs authorities have recently published a Note "Impact Brexit voor douaneverplichtingen in Nederland" (in Dutch), which gives a good insight into the possible impact of the changing customs obligations. In order to be prepared for the effects of the Brexit, the Dutch Customs Authorities have created an overview regarding the transit of goods between the EU and the UK, in order to be prepared for the possible increase of customs obligations and declarations.

Dutch Customs considered all possible outcomes of the UK exiting the internal market, and thus the EU Customs Union, as a “hard” Brexit. This because the consequences of leaving the internal market are:

  • For each movement of goods between the UK and EU one (or more) customs declaration will be required
  • All fiscal and non-fiscal policies must be maintained as there is no harmonization or mutual recognition.

The note identifies the extent of these customs duties. This is based on the current volumes. Fluctuations in trade volume with the UK in response to the Brexit are too speculative to take into account.

It should be borne in mind that the Brexit may take place on 29 March, 2019 (2 calendar years after the start of proceedings)

We will keep you informed about updates on the Brexit developments, for more information you can also visit the website of Europa NU.

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