Learn the lingo
ARTICLE 50 – The European Union's exit clause. This lays out the process for a member state to withdraw from the EU. Once the process is started, the country leaving the EU has two years to negotiate an exit deal.
BACKSTOP – This is part of the deal the Government negotiated with the EU as an attempt to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
COMMERCIAL INVOICE - This is a customs declaration form. Depending on the service and country you are posting to, this will need to be filled out and attached to every item you send to the EU in the event of a No Deal Brexit.
CN23 – This is a customs declaration form. Depending on the service and country you are posting to, this will need to be filled out and attached to every item you send to the EU in the event of a No Deal Brexit.
CUSTOMS DUTY – A fee placed on gifts or goods sent into the UK from outside the EU. The duty is payable if the items are above a certain value. The charges are applied by Border Force on behalf of HMRC. After Brexit the rules on Customs Duty for goods coming into the UK from the EU may change.
EORI (ECONOMIC OPERATOR REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION) NUMBER – This is an ID code used to track and register customs information in the EU. Currently all businesses importing or exporting goods from countries outside the EU need one. In the event of a No Deal Brexit, UK businesses may need an EORI number to trade with EU countries. Visit https://www.gov.uk/eori for more information.
EUROPEAN UNION (EU) – A political and economic union of 28 member states. The EU was established in 1957.
EXCISE DUTY – A fee currently payable on alcohol or tobacco imported into the UK from outside the EU. The charges are applied by Border Force on behalf of HMRC. After Brexit the rules on Excise Duty for goods coming into the UK from the EU may change.
HMRC – Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs. The government body responsible for charging and applying any Customs fees on goods imported into the UK. These charges may include Excise Duty, Import VAT and Customs Duty. The charges are applied by Border Force under the direction of HMRC.
TARIFF (or 'HS') CODES – These are an internationally standardised system of names and numbers used to classify traded products. The codes are required on Customs declaration forms (CN23) or Commercial Invoices for goods sent to other countries. Each commodity group is identified by either a six (Rest of World) or 8 (European Union) digit code. The system was developed by the World Customs Organization and is used by over 200 countries as a basis for their Customs tariffs.
INCOTERMS - Incoterms or International Commercial Terms are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). These relate to international commercial law. They are widely used in international commercial transactions or procurement processes and their use is encouraged by trade councils, courts and international lawyers. They are there to protect buyers and sellers with an international standard and regulate the payment terms for the receiver of the goods. Find out more here: https://iccwbo.org/resources-for-business/incoterms-rules/
IMPORT VAT – A fee currently paid on gifts and goods sent to the UK from outside the EU. The rate applied depends on whether the items are gifts or commercial goods, what they are and their value. The charges are applied by Border Force on behalf of HMRC. After Brexit the rules on Excise Duty for goods coming into the UK from the EU may change.
POSTAL AUTHORITIES – The official organisations responsible for licensing and regulating postal providers in any given country.
UPU – The Universal Postal Union is an organisation that helps co-operation between postal providers in different countries. It sets rules for international mail and provides a common framework for all postal operators to operate within.
WCO – The World Customs Organization is an international organisation with its headquarters in Brussels. It works to develop and implement modern customs systems and procedures around the world.
WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT – An agreement that sets out exactly how the UK would leave the EU in an orderly manner.
WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION (WTO) - A forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements and settle trade disputes. It operates a system of trade rules, which would apply automatically to UK trade with the EU post-Brexit as it does for other countries the EU has free-trade deals with.
VAT PRE REGISTRATION SCHEME – If you are based outside the UK, you can pay import VAT on goods you sell and send to UK buyers if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Find out more here.