Export to the UK

Prepare for the Brexit

STEP 2

Export declaration

WHAT:

  • Export declaration to (Belgian) Customs

BY WHOM:

  • Exporter or third party (forwarder, customs representative, …)

FOR WHOM:

  • Customs

WHY:

  • Execution of electronic risk analysis by the Belgian customs, this can result in an inspection (documentary inspection, scanning or physical inspection)

WHEN: 

  • Export declaration outside Belgium: before the goods leave the country where the export declaration is made
  • Export declaration in Belgium: before the start of the transport at the nearest customs office

HOW:

  • The declarant prepares an export declaration or transit declaration for the goods in PLDA or NCTS (via the web application or via own customs software)
  • The declarant must then pre-register the MRN number of the declaration in e-Desk

Request EORI number

You must inform Belgian Customs that you are exporting goods to a country outside the EU with an export declaration. You therefore require an EORI number, among other things. The European Commission obliges market participants who come into contact with customs to identify themselves with an EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification). Information about the procedure for applying for an EORI number can be found here. Do not postpone this and do your application right away!

Work with a customs representative

Do you have little experience with customs formalities? You may consider outsourcing the creation of the customs declaration to a customs representative, recognized by the General Administration of Customs and Excise (AAD&A).

A correct export declaration is not only necessary for your export to be carried out without any problems but also as proof for the VAT administration that you could sell the goods without applying VAT.

Export process

Goods exported from the EU to a third country are subject to the following steps:

  1. An export declaration should be lodged at the customs office of export in advance.
  2. The customs office of export validates the export declaration.
  3. The customs office of export carries out a risk analysis based on the declaration submitted. It is possible that the goods are inspected.
  4. If the customs office of export releases the goods for export, it sends a prior notice to the office of exit (this is always a seaport in Belgium).
  5. Only then can the economic operator transfer the goods to the customs office of exit (see ‘step 4 – Arrival notification’).
  6. After arrival of the goods in the seaport, the terminal sends an arrival notice to the customs office of exit. For this it is imperative that the specified data is correctly entered in the e-Desk.
  7. Based on the arrival report, the customs office of exit carries out an additional risk analysis and can decide to check the goods (conformity check).
  8. The customs office of exit releases the goods for exit. The goods must have left the customs territory of the Union within 150 days from the date of release by customs.
  9. 9. When the goods have left the customs territory of the Union, the shipping company informs the customs office of exit via the export manifest, confirming the export. (see “Step 5 – export manifest”).
  10. The customs office of export receives the confirmation from the customs office of exit that the goods have left the territory of the EU. This is important for the VAT exemption (see “step 6 – Exit Confirmation”).

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Track and trace via RX Dashboard

Track&Trace via RX Dashboard

Track and trace via RX Dashboard

Via the RX dashboard the importer, his representative and the haulier receive timely insight into the different statuses of their cargo, via a handy track & trace system. 

Read more
Pre-registration of customs data via the e-Desk

Pre-registration via e-Desk

Pre-registration of customs data via the e-Desk

Pre-registration of customs data via the e-Desk: via the e-Desk the user (freight forwarder, importer, ...) notifies the terminal operator of the customs status of the cargo with the accompanying customs document numbers (MRNs). The necessary data can be entered manually or via 'multi-insert' via the web application or automatically via a connection with most customs software applications. The terminal operator can request this data permanently and is thus informed that a customs document is available for your goods. On the basis of this information, the cargo can be released for transport.

Read more

Special cases

Be attentive if you export the following goods to the UK. In addition to customs formalities, additional obligations may apply.

Export of live animals and products of animal origin

When exporting animal products and live animals, you may be subject to veterinary certificates that will be necessary in the country where you are exporting goods and inspections by the authorised authority upon loading.

It can also concern animal or animal products that are protected and are covered by the CITES legislation. In that case you must apply for your export license in advance (www.citesinbelgie.be)*.

At the moment we are not sure how this will change for the UK. The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FAVV) provides information on veterinary export procedures in animals and animal products (http://www.afsca.be/professionelen/export/).* You can also go here for export declarations and certificates of free sales (“free sale” certificates*). More information about the required import licenses for animals and animal products can be found on the website of the British government.

More about Brexit and animal breeding, animal welfare and transport* can be found at the European Commission:

Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of breeding animals

Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Rules on animal health and welfare and public health related to the movement of live animals

Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules for authorisations and certificates for transporters of live animals, drivers and attendants

Notice to stakeholders of the United Kingdom and EU rules on certificates of competence pursuant to the requirements of Regulation (EC) NO 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing, to slaughterhouse operators

 

When exporting plants and plant products, you may have to deal with phytosanitary certificates export certificates that will be necessary in the country where you are exporting goods and inspections by the competent authority when it is loaded.

If it concerns the export of plants or plant products that are protected and that fall under CITES legislation, you must request your export license in advance (www.citesinbelgie.be).*

At the moment we are not sure how this will change for the UK. The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FAVV*) provides information on export procedures for plants and plant products (http://www.afsca.be/professionelen/export/).*

More information about the required import licenses to the UK for plants and plant material, food (excluding animals and animal products, including fish and shellfish)* and endangered flora and fauna can be found on the website of the British government. At the European Commission you will find more information about the Brexit with regard to:

  • vegetable propagating material*
  • genetically modified organisms*
  • animal nutrition*
  • natural mineral waters and spring water*

You can find more about medicines and medical devices (regulations in the UK) at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).* For example about: product information and promotion; production and sales; legislation and policy. The MHRA is part of the British Ministry of Health. Among other things, they issue certificates for the import of medicines into the UK.

At the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAGG) you apply for an export certificate* for pharmaceutical products or an import or export exemption for opiates. You can also contact the FAGG for certificates and declarations for the export of other medicines.

More information about Brexit regarding medicinal products for human and animal use can be found at the European Commission*.

Some products have animal or plant origin and could therefore be subject to the legislation of endangered animals and plants (CITES). You must then request your export license in advance (www.citesinbelgie.be).*

You may only sell, supply, use, store and promote pesticides in the UK once they have been approved by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD)*. The CRD provides you with information about, among other things, legislation and registration of plant protection products and biocides.

More information about the Brexit with regard to plant protection products* can be found at the European Commission.*

More information about the Brexit with respect to biocides* can be found at the FPS Public Health,* at the European Chemical Agency *(ECHA) and on the website of the European Commission.*

Information about the Brexit related to industrial products* can be found at the European Commission.

In the UK specific product requirements apply to packaging waste and the import and export of waste. The following are involved in packaging waste: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)* and Environment Agency. *The Environment Agency works together with the business community on a better environment. Waste and waste processing are important points of attention in this.

On the website of the British government you will find information about imports and exports of waste *from and to the UK.

Contact the regions for the procedures concerning the import and export of organic products. If you want to export products to the United Kingdom (UK) after the Brexit, your certification may no longer be sufficient. At the moment it is not known how the British legislation will look exactly after the Brexit or what requirements the UK will impose on the import of organic products. Over time, there will be more clarity about the export documents that you need.

You can find more information on the websites of the regional services for license applications: