Meeting the Brexit challenge - some essentials

  1. Overview
  2. How to prepare for customs

How to prepare for customs

Register for customs

If you move goods to, from or through Great Britain (GB), you need to register for Customs. You can do this by getting an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number. You can view this video guide on how to register for EORI.

From 1 January 2021, Northern Ireland traders are considered traders established in the customs territory of the European Union for goods only. Northern Ireland EORI numbers have been updated with a new Country code 'XI' replacing 'GB' from 1 January 2021. XI EORI numbers are accepted on Irish customs clearance systems.

Decide who will submit your customs declarations

Customs formalities now apply when trading in goods with GB. This means you have to submit customs declarations. You, or an agent acting on your behalf, must have the facility to lodge electronic customs declarations to Revenue.

Know the key data required for a customs declaration

Commodity code

This code is determined by your specific product. It is used to determine the import duties you will be liable to pay. It is important you have your products correctly classified.

Customs value of your goods

The customs value of your goods must be entered on your customs declaration. It is made up of the invoice price plus the cost of transport and insurance.

Origin of your goods

You need to know where the product you are importing originates from. The country of origin of the goods is used to determine the amount of duty payable. This information should be provided by your supplier.

See Benefits of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement for information on claiming preferential tariff rate of customs duty on goods of UK origin.


The country of origin may not be the same country that you are importing from.

These are some of the key data you will need for a customs declaration. You should ensure you are familiar with the other information you will need. You will find further information in:

You may need to provide supplementary documentation to support your declaration

You may be asked to provide any of the following, depending on the type of products:

Making payments

Once you have completed your EORI customs registration you will be automatically assigned a Trader Account Number (TAN). This is a secure channel through which you can make payments, for example pay import duties. You will find further information in payment methods.

  • Cash – To lodge credit to this account you must transfer funds from your bank account to Revenue’s bank account.
  • Deferred – A deferred payment authorisation allows you to import goods in one month and defer payment of import charges until the fifteenth of the following month.

There are additional customs simplifications and procedures available under the Union Customs Code (UCC). These can help to further minimise the potential negative impacts of Brexit and support the efficient and timely flow of trade.