Brexit

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With the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU Single Market, the transport industry faces some logistical challenges. As of January 1st, 2021, all shipments of goods between the United Kingdom and the European Union will be subject to full import controls, including full customs declarations.

Thanks to our long-term expertise for particularly urgent transports, complex logistics requirements and worldwide customs clearance, we will be able to offer fast, reliable and tailor-made solutions for your shipments, even after the Brexit.

Note, that all our customs broker partners, including time:matters’ own customs broker, are fully AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) certified and have the competence and capability to enable smooth customs procedures and clearance.

The changes associated with the Brexit require a proper preparation to avoid delays in transport and delivery of shipments. We will inform you about which documents and information we require from you, if you use our services.

In the download section and the Q&A section, you will find all the necessary information to ensure that your shipments can be transported smoothly.

In case you did not find a suitable answer to your questions, always feel free to contact your Account Manager or e-mail us at brexit@time-matters.com. And of course, our Customer Service teams will be available to you 24/7. We are happy to assist.

If you want to stay up to date regarding Brexit-related news, you can sign up for our structural newsletter and/or you follow us on LinkedIn.

Brexit FAQs

We are continuously monitoring the political situation and working closely with all our partners to ensure that we are prepared for all possible eventualities. We have also established a senior team of specialists to review all available information and plan around any Brexit-related disruptions to ensure excellence of service. This will ensure we are Brexit-ready with our solutions before January 1st 2021, regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

At time:matters, we deliver custom-tailored transport solutions that fit our customers’ needs. Many of our customers have questions regarding customs clearance processes, air capacity and air traffic agreements after the January 1st 2021. At time:matters, we are prepared for a hard Brexit. As part of our preparations, we have:

  • ensured our entire logistics chain is AEO-certified;
  • worked closely with our partners in the UK to ensure capacities for both transport and customs clearance;
  • prepared our CB Customs Broker and time:matters Courier Terminal (tmCT) in Frankfurt to handle the additional workload in case of a hard Brexit, on top of the clearance capacity we have already arranged with our customs brokers in the UK.

Our transport network services multiple daily flights to and from the UK, while our cargo benefits from some of the highest transport priorities available. This means that our cargo can be prioritized over the cargo of other shipping organizations, depending on the product you booked with us. Furthermore, if you need access to higher transport volumes, we can arrange on-demand charter flights. Finally, we can offer instant on-board courier solutions through our vast OBC network. If you would like to know more about our high-speed transport network, need a customized solution, or simply have more questions, please do not hesitate to email our customer service division.

Once the UK is no longer part of the EU customs union, all shipments to and from the UK will require customs handling. For this, every customer will need a so-called EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number that can be obtained from your country’s customs authority.

As an example, German customers can use the following links:

German link for EORI number

English link for EORI number

For imports into the UK, the UK government has introduced a staged approach to simplify customs procedures. UK importers will have the opportunity to enter non-controlled goods under the Customs Freight Simplified Procedure (CFSP), which offsets the need for a full border declaration until June 30th 2021. Under the phased approach, from January 1st to June 30th 2021, an import declaration can be made up to six months after the import of goods. Otherwise, the Entry Number (ENO) of the import customs clearance must be presented at the UK border in order to pass through.

Moreover, industrial and commercial enterprises will be able to utilize the postponed VAT mechanism, whereby import VAT only needs to be accounted for, but not paid at the time of entry into the UK.

Generally speaking, it is advisable to take account of all your shipments to and from the UK while considering possible impacts within your supply chain. The British government has already published extensive information to guide your import/export processes following Brexit.

Please also check in advance which Harmonized System (HS) codes your shipments will include. Websites such as Foreign-Trade.com can help you identify the HS codes you need.

If you require high-speed transport solutions, it is advisable to prepare for Brexit now as capacities are becoming increasingly scarce. Contact our customer hotline if you require more detailed information.

Finally, you have the option of deciding whether you want to perform customs clearance by yourself or outsource it to time:matters. Where we perform customs clearance on your behalf, we will require a power of attorney (POA) from you; we will request this once you make a booking with us.

Since your shipments will be handled like any other shipment going to/coming from a customs-relevant third country, the time required for the customs process needs to be considered. Clearance times will increase and additional customs documents will be required. From a logistical viewpoint, this may increase the Latest Acceptance Time (LAT) and Time Of Availability (TOA) for shipments.

At time:matters, we are prepared for these circumstances. With our very own company CB Customs Broker, we can help you with all EU-based customs-related procedures and documents. Our time:matters Courier Terminal (tmCT), located at Frankfurt airport, will keep handling times to a minimum and closely monitor your shipment right up to the cargo hold.

AEO stands for Authorized Economic Operator; certificate holders are able to fast-track shipments through customs. All of our customs broker partners, including time:matters own CB Customs Broker, are fully AEO-certified to facilitate fast-track customs procedures. In addition, all of our UK-based customs partners have implemented the CHIEF processing system. The system allows customs information to be completed electronically and consignments to be cleared automatically, leading to faster customs and handling times.

With a hard Brexit still a possibility, air freight capacity to and from the UK is in high demand. We are advising our customers to analyze possible logistical bottlenecks in their supply chain as soon as possible. time:matters’ cargo has some of the highest transport priorities available. Thanks to our instant access to a network of partners and Lufthansa flights, we continue to operate a stable network with several flights to the UK per day. Bilateral air traffic rights are in place, which allows us to maintain ample air traffic to and from the UK.

If you require a quote or have questions regarding our transport solutions, simply call our customer service division.

The current Coronavirus pandemic is having an effect on available flights. Nevertheless, we continue to operate a stable network with several daily flights to the UK thanks to our instant access to a network of partners and Lufthansa flights. Bilateral air traffic rights are in place, which allows us to maintain ample air traffic to and from the UK.

Thanks to our instant access to a network of partners and Lufthansa flights, we operate a stable network with several daily flights to the UK. Bilateral air traffic rights are in place, which allows us to maintain ample air traffic to and from the UK. Although we will not be arranging additional structural cargo capacity on top of our existing capacity, we can arrange for ad hoc capacity and we can increase our cargo capacity via the Lufthansa network if necessary.

  • Power of attorney / letter of empowerment
  • EORI numbers of exporter and importer
  • Export Accompanying Declaration (EAD)
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Customs Tariff Number of Goods / Commodity Code (HS Codes)
  • Description of goods
  • Chosen Incoterm
  • UK import procedure: full declaration or CFSP Easement
  • Contact information
  • Contact details of destination customs office (when performing customs clearance yourself).

The documents should be delivered to us when you book a shipment. Our Customer Service team will ask you for these details.

Whatever the outcome of the political Brexit negotiations, customs controls will be implemented by both the UK and the EU, requiring clearance before cargo is allowed to move forward. Apart from possible congestion, the logistics will change for other shipments from the EU to a third country outside the EU. This will inevitably impact overall supply chain speed and reliability. Nevertheless, if all required documents have been delivered to us properly, and customs capacity at the arrival station is sufficient, then customs clearance time can be reduced to a minimum. All of our stations are equipped to handle customs clearance, and clear agreements are in place with our customs brokers. Needless to say, much depends on the situation at the clearance station, and on whether all the information provided by the customer is complete and correct.

We have a range of customs brokers to choose from and you may indicate your preferences when doing business with us. However, keep in mind that we have some default/preferred partners. Details can be discussed upon booking/request.

Yes. In that case, you should indicate this when booking a shipment with us. For our Sameday product, please be aware that for our London Heathrow station, our goods arrive at the courier facility. Your third-party broker is required to have a special courier clearance license for London Heathrow to clear the goods.

Brexit per se will not increase the costs for a supply chain. However, the fact that customs clearance needs to be performed does increase your costs. Since all shipments will require customs documentation on departure and arrival, for which you may require a customs broker, additional costs are likely to be incurred, depending on the transport options and customs clearance procedures you choose. Moreover, it is likely that duties will be payable on entry to both the EU and the UK, although this is still the subject of the Brexit negotiations.

Yes. The country of origin of your goods is irrelevant; we can arrange for customs clearance from all countries of the world into the UK.

If you are transiting via the UK with the same airline, your customs goods will stay airside and will not have to be cleared. If your goods transfer to another airline, transit occurs airside via a customs bonded warehouse and does not require clearance in the UK either. However, be aware that the customs declaration must be from origin to final destination. Where you transit from a truck/car from outside the UK to an airline in the UK, you will need to prepare a Security Declaration (TAD; Transit Accompanying Document) before the truck/car arrives in the UK. If the goods come into the UK under a T1 document, the broker will discharge the shipment under the T1 documentation, followed by customs clearance. After customs clearance, the goods can transit to the airline.

Yes, there is. For road transport, two types of declaration can be distinguished:

  1. Exit Summary Declaration (EXS) required for export out of the UK;
  2. Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) required prior to import into the UK.

Export: The EXS usually forms part of the export customs entry. The EXS is most often submitted by the customs broker of the exporting party. As of January 1st 2021, all exports from the EU to the UK and from the UK to the EU will need an Exit Safety and Security declaration. Traders should ensure they provide export customs entry instructions to their broker as they do with exports to the rest of the world. The SSD will be part of the export entry.

Import: The ENS is not part of the import customs entry. It needs to be submitted (usually by the carrier) via the Import Control System (ICS) before the goods leave the exporting country. The goods cannot be accepted on import by customs, unless the ENS has been accepted before the goods arrive in the import country. All imports to the UK from the EU will require an Entry Safety and Security declaration from July 1st 2021 onwards.

At the present time, the EU requires the ENS as of January 1st 2021, but this is subject to change. The UK, on the other hand, will not require the ENS until July 1st 2021. The executing carrier will need to ensure that the ENS is submitted on time.

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