Brexit – there's practical support for Sheffield businesses importing and exporting to the EU

Businesses are confused about what the key issues are for them and how they can practically prepare for them now. The reality is that even if the UK leaves the EU on the 31st October with an agreement, or doesn’t leave the EU at all, import and export procedures will change. Brexit may alter the pace of change by driving the changes more quickly, but they will come. 

The Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry have the expertise to provide practical support to businesses through a dedicated International Trade Advisor Team. THE SUPPORT IS FREE AND YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER of the SHEFFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

Read the below key issues and then contact the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry to make an appointment with an International Trade Advisor at the earliest opportunity.  (Contact details at the end of the page). 


  •  Most sectors will be subject to duties on imported and exported products.  Average duties will be between 2.5 % and 3.5% of the value, including many products important to Sheffield like animal feeds, raw materials, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
  • Import/export duty applied to some goods may be significantly higher than the average and companies must check duty rates on their goods or seek advice. 


  • 20% VAT will be applied for the first time to imports BUT can be reclaimed on submission of a quarterly VAT return. 
  • This will have a significant effect on cash flow because 20% must be paid before goods can clear the country.
  • Any EU customers will be charged duty on importation of goods from the UK.
  • The ITA can assist by explaining these issues, make you understand the cost liability for your business and what you can do to mitigate this risk, including registering for SIVA (Simplifed Import VAT Accounting). 


  • There could be delays at border crossings and custom points it is important to have the right customs documentation in place to mitigate this as much as possible (see below). 


  • There are currently approx 55 million import and export declarations submitted to HMRC every year for trade outside the EU but after Brexit this is projected to increase to over 200 million overnight.  Businesses need to know what their legal obligations are for international shipments.
  • When the UK is out of the EU all goods either leaving or entering the UK by whatever means will need to be declared to customs.
  • The ITA can help you to understand the responsibilities and liabilities of the exporter/importer on record and explain the responsibilities of third parties such as forwarding agents and clearing agents. 


  • It is likely that most countries will require Certificates of Origin. 
  • The UK will no longer be able to supply EC Certificates of Origin.
  • Printed UK certificates of Origin are in stock at the Chamber.
  • Preferential trade documentation, called EUR1’s will disappear.
  • Those (few) markets with whom the UK will have agreements after Brexit, the document will change to UK1’s – these are also available from the Chamber. 


  • Sterling has dropped since the referendum and could continue to do so. 
  • On a positive note this will largely negate the application of duties and additional costs for exports BUT it will make imports more expensive.
  • The ITA can help you understand the likely and continuing cost implications for your specific business.
  • The government is issuing many Brexit guideline notes regarding the effect of leaving the EU to business. The ITA can help you understand how the guidelines will impact your business and what you need to implement in your business. 
  • VAT considerations.
  • Customs procedures to reduce the duty liability. 


For further information please do not delay.  Book an appointment to see an International Trade Advisor today on 0114 201 8888 or email