Damian Shirley
20 January '21

4 minute read

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Whilst you were getting the last bit of your Christmas shopping done, the Brexit deal made it over the line, too. Close to the wire, we know, but there’s nothing like a deadline to focus the mind!

So, what next? Although we’re operating in a very different environment now, compared to the start of 2020, there is hope on the horizon. COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out alongside a certain set of rules that will ease trading with the EU. Like spring coming, there are brighter days ahead.

It’s still critical that you get to grips with the deal and what that means for your business, so we’ve updated our Brexit Bible with key questions and answers. Remember, we’re in this with you and will navigate any choppy English Channel, Irish Sea, or North Sea waters together.


It’s now a business-critical priority to consider the impact of trading within the EU under what will be entirely new rules. That means talking to members of the supply chain to get the necessary paperwork in place in good time, avoiding any unexpected tariff costs or goods stuck at the border.


We absolutely urge you to ask yourself the following:

  1. Do you know your incoterms?
  2. Do you know if the goods you sell, or the goods you buy, will meet the rules of origin so they can be imported free from tariffs?
  3. Do you have an obligation to VAT register in the EU?
  4. Do you need an EU/NI/GB prefixed EORI number?
  5. Do you need to appoint a Customs or Fiscal representative?
  6. Do you know whether you will use postponed VAT accounting to account for import VAT in the UK?
  7. Do you know whether you will be able to delay your UK customs declarations for 6 months?

If you can’t answer a confident “yes” to any of the above, then it’s time to think. Fast.


We’re currently supporting a growing number of clients, spanning B2B and B2C, trading in either goods or digital services. Brexit impacts all.

We map out and review our clients’ overall supply chain structure to understand the impact of Brexit. It really doesn’t need to be described in a more complicated way than that, so, let’s keep it simple.

The output helps clients to understand the following key factors:

  1. Whether clients can satisfy the rules of origin rules to take advantage of the preferential tariff deal with the EU.
  2. VAT registration requirements when continuing to trade in the EU and any mitigation strategies to streamline those obligations.
  3. The moving forward import VAT obligations and goods clearance obligations at the UK and EU borders.
  4.  Any establishment requirements on the continent to allow you to continue to trade.
  5. Optimisation strategies to reduce the additional administrative burden and underlying cost of trade through 2021.
  6. Understanding and meeting any new compliance obligations.

Our team includes specialists in determining origin, export, and trade controls who are based in Brussels, in the heart of the EU. We’re also working closely with legal experts in commercial law who focus on regulatory matters such as labelling and safety.

Whatever your position, we can work with you to maintain business continuity, which is all-important right now.


We’ll help you to cut through all the detail of the deal so you can focus on what you do best. We’d recommend checking out our Brexit Bible which answers key questions and summarises the main information on tariffs, VAT and supply chain movements.

Lastly, we’re in this together. It’s one of our core values here at CP, and as we navigate these changes with you, it’s never rung truer.

If you’ve got any questions, get in touch with Damian Shirley, our Indirect Tax Partner and lead on all things Brexit,