Brexit update

The UK has left the EU, but we are currently in a transition period whereby goods can still be moved between UK and EU without any paperwork.  New rules will (in theory) take effect from January 1st 2021; it’s possible that we will leave the Customs Union, in which case you will need to use an ATA Carnet for any temporary exportation of goods to European Union territories from that point forward.

If you have a forthcoming trip, such as a concert tour, which leaves UK before January 1st 2021, includes travel (whether for working visit or transit purposes) within the European Union, and returns to UK BEFORE January 1st 2021, you do NOT need a Carnet (unless you’ll be travelling outside the EU, for example to Switzerland or Norway.)

If, however, you have a trip to EU which returns on or after January 1st 2021, you’ll need to take steps to ensure that you have the correct paperwork.  This table indicates what you’ll need under each possible scenario:

Goods currently in the UK

Travel outside the UK but within the EUTravel outside the EU (e.g. Switzerland, Norway etc.)
Leave UK before 1st January 2021;
Return to UK before 1st January 2021
(No documents required)ATA Carnet
Leave UK before 1st January 2021;
Return to UK after 1st January 2021
Duplicate List procedure 1ATA Carnet
(with extra transit and/or visit vouchers)
Leave UK after 1st January 2021ATA Carnet
(with extra visit vouchers)
ATA Carnet
(with extra transit and/or visit vouchers)

1 Duplicate List procedure involves preparation of a List of Goods exactly as would be required for a Carnet; two copies are presented to UK Customs along with form C&E 1246. The advantage is that it’s free; the disadvantages are that it’s a more complex process than using a Carnet, and (in the event of the inevitable ghastly backlog should Brexit go ahead) Customs are likely to prioritise Carnet movements, making Duplicate List procedure less viable for time-sensitive movements. While Chambers cannot yet issue Carnets specifically for visits to EU territories, there is a way to use a Carnet to facilitate such movements; please contact us for details.

If your goods are already outside UK, and not due to return until after January 1st 2021 , your course of action will depend on whether the goods are already covered by a Carnet and, if so, whether they will visit non-EU territories after January 1st 2021 and before returning to UK:

Goods already outside UK

No Carnet in useCarnet already in use
Goods will remain in EU before returning to UK before 1st January 2021(No action needed)(No action needed as long as yellow re-importation voucher has been taken by EU Customs; no declaration needed to UK Customs)
Goods will remain in EU before returning to UK after 1st January 2021Proof of UK origin will be required on re-entry to UK 1Operate re-entry to EU on yellow Re-Importation voucher; no declaration needed to UK Customs
Goods will leave and re-enter EU before 1st January 2021, and re-enter UK before 1st January 2021Carnet required (retrospectively opened) if visiting ATA territoriesOperate re-entry to EU on yellow Re-Importation voucher; no declaration needed to UK Customs
Goods will leave and re-enter EU before 1st January 2021, but return to UK after 1st January 2021Carnet required (retrospectively opened) if visiting ATA territoriesOperate re-entry to EU on yellow Re-Importation voucher; this should constitute proof of UK origin for UK Customs
Goods will leave EU before 1st January 2021 but return to EU after 1st January 2021Carnet required (retrospectively opened) if visiting ATA territoriesWhite (visit) or blue (transit) vouchers required for entry to / exit from EU; operate yellow Re-Importation voucher on return to UK 2
Goods will leave and re-enter EU after 1st January 2021Carnet required (retrospectively opened) if visiting ATA territoriesWhite (visit) or blue (transit) vouchers required for entry to / exit from EU; operate yellow Re-Importation voucher on return to UK 2

1 Proof of UK status could take the form of VAT receipts confirming purchase in the UK, commercial evidence showing that the goods are on the trader’s books / inventory, shipment documents issued for previous movements, hire contracts, insurance manifests, etc.

2 If your Carnet does not contain sufficient pairs of white (visit) / blue (transit) vouchers to cover the return trip via EU, they can be supplied by the issuing Chamber of Commerce (you’ll need to courier them out to be inserted into the Carnet.)  It’s possible that local (i.e. EU) Chambers might be empowered to supply such vouchers locally; this is awaiting confirmation.