HMRC answers to frequently asked questions on the new trading rules

Mar 23, 2021

HMRC have set out answers to some frequently asked questions from businesses this week.

 Question: How do I check if goods are controlled or not?

Answer: You can check our list of controlled goods to find out if the goods you’re importing into the UK are included.

If you bring controlled goods into the UK from anywhere in the world (including the EU) you must follow the normal rules for making import declarations. You may also need to get special licenses or certificates for your goods.

If you would like more information about the types of goods that are classed as controlled and what you need to do if you’re importing them into the UK, you can watch our short video that explains this. If you are moving controlled goods out of the UK, you’ll need to follow the right procedures in place for the country you are sending the goods to.

Question: ‌‌What is an EORI number for?

Answer: You need an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number to complete customs declarations or to apply for customs decisions, if you are moving goods:

  • between GB (England, Scotland, and Wales) or the Isle of Man and any other country in the world (including the EU)
  • between GB and NI
  • between GB and the Channel Islands
  • between NI and countries outside the EU.

If you have a customs intermediary (like a freight forwarder or a customs agent) to deal with your customs declarations for you, you may still need your own EORI number.

If your business is based in GB, you must get an EORI number that starts with GB. If you already have an EORI number and it does not start with GB, you must apply for a GB EORI number. It is free and only takes a few minutes to apply.  

You may also need an EORI number starting with XI if you move goods to or from NI.

You do not need an EORI number if you are trading services with other countries.

You can find more information about EORI numbers and apply for a GB or XI EORI

on GOV‌‌.UK.

Question: Do NI businesses sending goods to GB need to make declarations?

Answer: You do not need to declare most goods when they move from NI to GB. There’s more information about the rules for sending goods to GB from NI here.

If you move goods between NI and GB, the Trader Support Service can:

  • offer support and guidance
  • complete any necessary declarations for you.

Question: Do I need to make customs declarations for goods sent in parcels from GB to NI?

Answer: HMRC have updated GOV.UK guidance setting out the extended temporary arrangements for express carriers and Royal Mail for sending goods in parcels to NI from GB. These continued temporary arrangements mean that for now you do not need to do a customs declaration, except for prohibited, restricted and high value business to business goods.