31 October, 2018

Customs Destinations

Asendia's Practical Approach for BREXIT (United Kingdom leaving the EU in March 2019).

The UK will leave the EU including the Customs Union at 11am on the 29th March 2019. The UK government and the 27 European countries have reached an agreement on several withdrawal issues. Securing a full agreement will mean continued trading between the 26 EU countries and UK will be broadly the same from March 2019 to December 2020 (the transition period) subject to all going to plan. The UK government and the 27 European Countries hope to reach an agreement beyond this period.


What about “No Deal”?

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal by March 2019, current guidance from HMRC is that the same rules will apply to EU businesses exporting to the UK as to non-EU countries from March 2019.


If there is no customs agreement, what would this mean for my cross-border shipments?

Today, the UK is classed as an EU country, so mail, parcels and express items shipped to the UK from other EU countries require no formal customs declarations or clearance.

If there is no customs agreement, the movement of goods via the Mail, Parcels and Express distribution channels will no longer enjoy duty exempt status and will require customs clearance.


How will these changes impact my daily business?

Asendia’s view is that in the event of a no deal BREXIT, UPU (Universal Postal Union) customs conventions will apply to goods for postal items shipped into the UK in the same way they do for non-EU destinations.


You will need to make a customs declaration in the form of either:

  • CN 22 – goods with a maximum value of €355 or
  • CN 23 – goods with a value over €355

Also required:

  • Description of the goods
  • Value
  • Confirmation the Goods are commercial items as per the example below.


What about sending shipments from OUTSIDE the EU?

If sending Goods with a commercial value from Non-EU countries through the postal channel to the UK (i.e. Switzerland, Norway, USA, Australia, New Zealand India, China, Japan etc.…) you are required today to send items with a CN22/23 customs declaration through the postal system with a maximum weight of 2kg (see example below). If sending Goods via a Parcel or Express carrier a commercial invoice is required.


CN 22 declaration form

 CN 22 declaration form


CN 23 declaration form

CN 23 declaration form


How does this affect printed material (Business Mail, Direct Marketing, Press and Publishing)?

Currently Printed Matter and Publications (i.e. direct mail, invoices, statements, documents and publications) do not require CN22/23 customs declarations when sent on a postal service to the UK(apart from sold books). We are confident current postage rules will remain as they are today with regards to these mailings from EU and Non-EU countries post BREXIT.


Cross-Border Postal Distribution Documents Summary

From To Pre Brexit documents required Post Brexit documents required
EU EU None None
EU Non-EU CN22/CN23 CN22/CN23
Non-EU EU CN22/CN23 CN22/CN23
EU UK None TBC but likely CN22/CN23
Non-EU UK CN22/CN23 CN22/CN23


Cross-Border Parcel & Express Distribution Documents Summary

From To Pre Brexit documents required Post Brexit documents required
EU EU None None
EU Non-EU Commercial invoice CN22/CN23
Non-EU EU CN22/CN23 CN22/CN23
EU UK None TBC but likely CN22/CN23
Non-EU UK CN22/CN23 CN22/CN23


Of course this information is provided as a guide and is subject to change dependant on the outcome of BREXIT negotiations. Asendia continue to monitor this situation closely. In the meantime we believe the solutions offered above ensure Goods and Printed Matter will continue to enjoy fast and safe passage from the 27 remaining EU countries.


How can Asendia support my business through this transformation?

The UK is at the forefront of global e-commerce and despite the challenges of BREXIT, we expect this position to continue. Asendia is well placed to support our cross-border customers ship goods to the UK capitalising on both Postal and Commercial distribution and clearance options.


Can Asendia offer unique solutions if we face No Deal Brexit?

In the event of a no deal Brexit, any clients with goods of value wishing to explore storage, fulfilment & distribution solutions from within the UK, Asendia will be able to consult and assist you. Asendia have operations in the UK as well as a large network of ‘sister companies’.

Our network and its locations have a wide array of specialisations and for each client our recommendation might vary based on parcel volumes, nature of goods and distribution pattern. For some clients, operating a two centre fulfilment model may not be commercially viable.


We will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide further updates as they become available. In the meantime, should you require further assistance please do not hesitate to contact your Account Manager.

CN 22 declaration form

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