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Brexit Update

How Brexit impacts on European removals
Brexit Update 27th January 2021

Four weeks after leaving the EU the situation on moving used household furniture and effects is very precarious. The information supplied on the Government websites is directed towards general haulage and does not address the unique criteria of citizens moving with their personal effects. We are now seeing a small number of moves happening within France and Germany. The documentation criteria vary from one member state to another.

Typical documents required to move from the UK to France are:

Currently there is not enough customs clearing agents and typical delays in clearing the French ports travelling into the EU or to the UK are typically 12 to 48 hours.

Update 24th December 2020

The UK leaves the EU on 1st January 2021. Leaving the EU means we are no longer in the EU Customs Union, which allows free movement of people and goods, although the UK Government has negotiated a “trade and cooperation agreement”. With this agreement, there will be the requirement of additional documentation and customs procedures when moving from the UK to the EU or when moving from the EU to the UK.

The situation remains that all goods moving to the EU will have to travel under a transit document (T1) and then be cleared in the country of destination. For outbound movements, a full export declaration will be required.

People who are moving into the UK can apply for Transfer of Residence Relief (ToR). This allows them to bring their household effects and personal property with them without paying import duties and taxes, as long as they meet certain qualifying conditions. When ToR application is successful, they will get a unique code that the removals company can use to make customs declarations into the UK. The company will need to submit a full import declaration directly onto the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF). In most cases, there will be no customs duty or VAT payable.

The documents needed for inbound movements after the TP are the same as those described in the current ToR notice online at: Application for transfer of residence.

British Association of Removers update 03/12/2020

We continue to ask the Government, HMRC and Border Force to give us clarity for the moving of used household furniture and effects, duty free, when moving to or from Europe after Brexit. I sit on the Britannia Movers International (BMI) Brexit Working Party. We have had 10 weekly meetings. During this time very little has changed. At the end of October 2020 all ten members of the working party wrote to our MP's asking for clarity for the removal industry. Those that responded have said they will pass on our concerns and questions and will contact us again with any response. There has been no response of any significance. I have had no response from our local MP Cherilyn Mackrory with the exception of an automatic email confirming my email has arrived safely.

We have contacted the Road Haulage Association (RHA) regarding our concerns and their response was as below:

"removals" is an insignificant percentage of the total road haulage transiting the UK – EU border. Your unique criteria has not been discussed during the Brexit negotiations and therefore processes are not in place.

Please see (BAR) British Association of Removers Update 3rd December 20202

BAR has written again to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove MP, to outline the many concerns that still exist regarding Brexit; the level of uncertainty of process and its practical application to impact the transport of household goods and effects between the UK and Europe post 31st December being enormous. We have asked him to consider that the removals industry, together with its customers, are massively concerned that the situation in the New Year will be chaotic, at best, and with a very real potential to inflict disastrous emotional and financial penalty on service providers and consumers alike. The level of unpreparedness is deeply disturbing and no-one appears to be able to answer the very legitimate questions that are being raised, and we include HMRC and border Force in that comment. At the very centre of our concerns is that we are talking about the movement of people here (many of them serving members of the armed forces) and their most intimate environments and possessions, and not simply inanimate commodities transiting through a series of warehouses. Already we are finding that our Members are advising their customers that they cannot confirm move schedules for January because of the lack of clarity that exists. We have asked for further clarification on many, as yet unanswered questions, including those relating to process, infrastructure, application of VAT, customs intermediaries etc etc.

Currently, it is very unlikely that Britannia Lanes, like many other removal companies, will be able to carry out moves to or from Europe in January.

Brexit update 20/10/2020

Please note our European guide price is correct up until 31st December 2020. From the 1st January 2021 we will have left the EU and moving to Europe will be completely different. Many of the suggested imposed regulations still have not been finalised.

When moving to the EU after the 31st December 2020 you (the customer) will need to complete a (ToR1) Transfer of Residence form. Currently this process is taking two weeks, although as we get closer to Brexit this process could take longer. Once you have completed the form you will be issued a Unique Reference Number which your moving company will require as part of the documentation to clear customs. There will also be a customs declaration for you to complete for importation duty. It is likely for the remover to have to employ a customs agent to process the documentation to clear customs. All documentation needs to be completed before arriving at the border.

There are a lot of processes for us, the remover, to put in place, although most of these have not been finalised. How difficult this process will be (exporting from the UK into the EU or importing from EU into the UK) will be determined during the Brexit negotiations. At this time, we just don’t know what is going to be imposed on us as an industry.

Currently the Brexit negotiations seem to have stalled, which means greater uncertainty. Britannia Lanes continue to attend a European task force within Britannia Movers International and have daily/weekly updates from our trade association (BAR) British Association of Removers. We will continue to unpick any legislation that is presented to ourselves and inform our customers accordingly through this Brexit update.