From the 1st January the transition period for leaving the European Union will have ended and our new trading relationship will start. How exactly this will work is still somewhat unclear at the time of writing, however there are some things that we know, based on the international rules of trade.
Without a free trade agreement in place (which is looking increasingly unlikely at the moment), UK goods being exported from the UK to the EU will have to pay some kind of duties and tariffs.
Duties and tariffs are taxes charged by governments and will vary based on the type of goods. They are generally charged to protect domestic production and restrict trade from a particular country. A free trade agreement (FTA) allows you to trade freely between partners without duties and tariffs largely with specific terms and conditions in place.
You may well already export goods to different members of the EU and, if you transport your goods by road, your goods may travel through several countries before reaching their destination. You will, therefore, be wondering whether you have to pay separately for each country.
The answer is no. As the EU is a customs union you will only need to pay tariffs and duties once. Tariffs and duties are charged at national level and payable upon release for consumption. That means they are charged in the country where the goods will be consumed or used. So, for example, if a product enters the EU in France but the ultimate destination is Germany, tariffs and duties will be paid in Germany. It also means that regardless of which countries you export to in the EU, the tariffs and duties will be the same.
This depends on the type of product you are selling. Different products attract different tariffs, in fact some may be zero rated. To work out the tariffs that apply to your goods, you must first find the right commodity code. You can find your commodity code and the relevant tariffs and duties using the HMRCs trade tariff finder on this platform.
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