Brexit: the consequences for transport and logistics


On January 31st 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union. Until 2021, there won’t be any obvious changes. After this date though, many regulations will change for transportation and logistics between Europe and the United Kingdom. The Rotterdam port, including the customs, the Public Works & Water Management department and the ferry terminals are taking measures already to adapt to the changes coming. What does that mean for logistic transportations and what do you and your company need to do to prepare for Brexit?

Period of transition

The 1st of February marks the start date of the transitional period. Britain will not have any control over EU institutions, but they remain a part of the European internal market, Customs Union and different partnerships. In the coming months, the EU will negotiate a trade agreement with the UK, who want the freedom to differentiate from European standards. On the other hand, the EU only wants a reduction to zero taxation and quota-free access to the European market, if the UK keeps their agreements on environmental standards and regulations on state support.

The transitional period is set to expire at the end of 2020. If both parties agree, it can be extended for a maximum of two years. Boris Johnson, prime minister of the UK, has said that he does not want an additional two years for the transitional period.

Customs formalities

If there will be a no-deal Brexit by the end of 2020, the WTO-regulations will stay intact for trading between the two parties. If there is a deal before the deadline expires, there might still be a chance that your import and export of goods and people will be restricted, which will lead to customs formalities being undertaken at the different borders.

The consequences for transportation

● Customs documents
Every shipment will need to have import and export declarations. On top of that, the shipment may require issued documents of origin.
● HS-codes and import rights
HS-codes are used to sort out different goods and products. These codes will inform customs handling what your cargo will contain. Also, they will know how much they have to charge for import duties. Different products and goods have different import duties. This way, the goods are easily identified.
● Extended waiting periods
Logistics staff are counting on extended waiting periods at the ferry terminals at the ports of both Rotterdam, Antwerp and the British ports. Regulations for fresh produce and living animals will require extra attention. Therefore, customs staff will need to check different cargo’s more frequently.
● Customs handling
Customs procedures, including administration and checking of shipments, will need more attention, following the departure of the UK from the customs union and the internal market of the EU.
● Warehouse capacity
Insecurity and the run on storage space will increase the demand of warehouse storage. Last year, there has been an increase of companies storing large stocks on both sides of the North Sea, to prevent stocking problems.

Preparation for Brexit

Taking measures on the changes coming are inevitable. It takes time to change your logistic processes. To prepare your companies interests, it is important to take a few steps in advance.

● EORI-number
The EORI-number identifies market participants through customs in all states. Tax authorities advise to get this number as soon as possible, so they can process every application in time.
● Check insurance
When large stocks will remain in either the UK or in The Netherlands, there might be a chance of underinsurance. Check this with your insurance company.
● Permits
Make sure you have the right permits to transport your chemicals. For instance, you have to show your products have originated from within Europe. A EUR-1 certificate or a temporary ATA carnet will make sure of that. You can get these at the Chamber of Commerce.
● Portbase login
If you use shortsea or ferry traffic, you are obliged to register at the Portbase. You can contact De Rijke Logistics staff; we will gladly help you chart your logistic chains and the influence of customs formalities.

De Rijke Logistics; expert in transportation from and to the UK

De Rijke Logistics usually ship trailers unaccompanied through the Dutch ports rather than the busier routes, such as Calais/Dover and the Eurotunnel. This saves both time and money. As a 4PL logistics provider, we will manage and coordinate your transport from the beginning until the end. With our knowledge and expertise, we are able to help you transport your goods fast and easy. Some advantages of collaborating with De Rijke Logistics:

● AEO-Certificate.
● Our very own specialised declarants with lots of experience regarding customs handling.
● Exclusive collaborations with customs agents in the UK.
● Personal management of transport from and to the UK, with own offices on both sides of the North Sea.

If you want to know more about the consequences regarding Brexit or about transportation of your goods, do not hesitate to contact us. Call us on +31 (0)88 0454100 or send an email to Our specialists will gladly help you with your questions.


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