Brexit for businesses
From 1 January 2021, goods imported or exported between Finland and the UK must be declared to Customs. Businesses now observe the same rules, restrictions and customs formalities in their trade with the UK as with other countries outside the EU, that is, so-called third countries.
To lodge customs declarations, your business needs
- Suomi.fi identification and authorisations. You should reserve time to apply for these.
- An EORI number. You need the number for most customs declarations and when applying for authorisations.
Guidance on how to start lodging customs declarations
- Basic steps involved in importing goods
- What to find out before starting to import goods and how to declare goods
- What to find out before starting to export goods and how to lodge an export declaration
Goods moving at the turn of the year
- If Union goods arrive from the UK in the territory of the EU before 1 January 2021, 00:00 CET (1 January 2021, 01:00 Finnish time), they will keep their Union status.
- If Union goods arrive in the customs territory of the EU after this time, and their transfer from the UK has started on 31 December 2020 by 00:00 CET (01:00 Finnish time), they will be treated as Union goods. Customs must be presented with proof of the starting time of the transfer of goods (for example, a transport contract). Read in more detail about differences between modes of transport here:
- For exporters
- For transport companies and warehouse keepers
Imports from and exports to Northern Ireland
For the time being, the EU legislation will be applied to goods trade with Northern Ireland. It will be treated like any other Union country. There will be some changes to the application of rules of origin from 1 January 2021. Read more: Rules applicable to Northern Ireland after the end of the transition period
Information on the European Commission’s website:
- The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
- Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU
- Market Access Database: Information on trade with third countries
- Brexit: Situation, negotiations and preparedness
Information on the European Council’s website
Information on websites of other authorities:
- Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
- Finnish Tax Administration
- Prime Minister's Office
- GOV.UK: importing goods into the UK
- GOV.UK: exporting goods from the UK
For transport operators
- Brexit in the Dutch ports
- French Customs: Preparing for Brexit – Customs guidelines, pdf (in English, see practical guidance from page 20 onwards)
It depends on the trade agreement to be concluded between the EU and the UK.
Use the declaration type ‘EU’ in accordance with code list 0024.
If the transport of the goods began before the UK exited the EU, the goods will be treated as Union goods when they arrive in Finland and no VAT payment is required. However, if the transport of the goods started after the exit date, the consignment must be cleared through customs and VAT paid, even if the order was placed before the exit date and the VAT was paid.
The goods can be returned in the same state free from customs duty within three years of their export to the UK. A transport document must be available as proof of the export.
You can use the T2 transit procedure to transport the goods. The transit procedure is started in Finland, and the customs office in Ireland is given as the office of destination. The goods may move through the UK without customs formalities or payment of taxes. A representative (forwarding agency) can also place the goods under the transit procedure.
You can transport uncleared (non-EU goods) using T1 transit to a customs warehouse or temporary storage facility located in the UK. A representative (forwarding agency) can also place the goods under the transit procedure.
Once the goods have been cleared for export in Finland, they can be transported using the T2 transit procedure to the warehouse in the UK. A representative (forwarding agency) can also place the goods under the transit procedure.
If a company is registered for VAT in Finland, VAT will be declared to the Finnish Tax Administration with a monthly VAT return, as in intra-EU trade. If a company is not registered for VAT as a business operator with the Finnish Tax Administration, VAT will be levied by Finnish Customs. VAT on goods ordered by private persons from outside the EU is always levied by Finnish Customs.
An electronic export declaration must be submitted for the export goods to the ELEX system of Finnish Customs. The export invoice will be archived by the company.
In early 2021, Intrastat declarations should be submitted normally for the December 2020 statistical period.
As a new aspect of Intrastat declarations, statistics on internal trade with Northern Ireland (country code XI) will be collected from 01/2021.
- The United Kingdom (UK) withdrew from the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. The United Kingdom consist of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. UK is not an official country code for customs declarations. The official country code of UK is GB with Intrastat declarations until the end of 2020, and this code will be used for customs declarations in 2021.
- England, Scotland and Wales constitute Great Britain (GB). The official country code of Great Britain is GB for customs declarations.
- Northern Ireland is part of the UK but not of Great Britain. The official country code of Northern Ireland as of 1 January 2021 is XI with Intrastat declarations.
- Gibraltar is not part of the internal market of the EU. The official country code of Gibraltar is GI for customs declarations.