The UK is due to formally leave the EU's Single Market and Customs Union from January 1st, 2021. Negotiations are currently underway on a trade agreement. In the case of a no-deal Brexit, the UK will become a third country and trade with the EU will be governed by terms set by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Taxes and tariffs will apply to products that UK businesses are shipping to the EU. It is also worth mentioning that customs duty and import taxes will also apply on return items.
The Shiptheory team has been working hard with all our carrier partners to make sure Shiptheory supports any changes to their specifications. Nevertheless, several carriers are still working on updating their operations and technical specifications to support Brexit. As and when we hear from such partners, we will prioritise any work required on our end to ensure full compatibility at the latest by January 1st.
In the meantime, find below a list of actions you need to take in your Shiptheory account to ensure everything is in place for shipping internationally from January 1st, 2021, as well as links to useful resources provided by various couriers for Brexit.
Add your company's EORI number to your Shiptheory account
An EORI number is an Economic Operator Registration and Identification number. This ID code is used to track and register customs information in the EU. It will be required for UK imports and exports from 2021. You can register for an EORI number here.
To add your EORI number to your Shiptheory account, click here.
Check and update your product commodity data
Shiptheory automatically generates and prints customs documentation (CN22 and CN23 forms, Commercial Invoices, and Electronic Paperless Trade Documents (where the respective carrier and country supports it) required to export shipments around the world at the same time as processing your shipment's shipping labels.
Nevertheless, having the correct product data on the above forms will be crucial from now on to avoid your shipments being delayed, returned, or paying more tax. We highly recommend checking and updating your product data to make customs clearance a faster and cheaper process going forward.
Shiptheory now offers a comprehensive product data quality checking tool that automatically identifies and highlights any issues or omissions in your product data and helps you reduce friction when shipping internationally.
You can check your product data here.
If you identify issues with your product data, there are several options available:
• Update product data in your sales channel
Once you have updated product data in your sales channel, Shiptheory will update the product data it holds next time an order is imported containing new or modified product data.
• Update product data in Shiptheory manually
If you need to add or change product data that is not supplied by your sales channel, you can view and modify product-level data directly in your Shiptheory account, here.
• Update your product data via the Shiptheory API
You can import, export, and update product-level data into and from your Shiptheory account using our new dedicated set of Product API endpoints.
Courier Brexit resources
Royal Mail: Getting ready for leaving the EU
Parcelforce: Parcelforce Guide to getting Brexit Ready
DHL: Preparing for Brexit
We highly recommend you keep referring back to this page where we will provide updated information and details on any future changes you may need to make.
If you have questions regarding how Brexit might affect your current shipping process, the carriers or channels you use or need help understanding your product data, please reach out to the Shiptheory support team.
Our shipping specialists are more than happy to provide the assistance you need to get Brexit-ready.