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One piece of the BREXIT puzzle; accurate information in advance

As we enter Week 2 of the new BREXIT trading environment, there are many active issues responsible for delays yet one key point evident in all discussions is that the trading market, across Ireland and UK, has not yet accepted the reality that Business CANNOT operate as it previously did. All in the Supply Chain (Shippers/ Hauliers/ Forwarders) have a new role to play/ work to contribute and clear recognition of this is urgent.

The purpose of this article is in one area; advance information and documentation. Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers can complete Customs Clearance procedures on behalf of their Clients but the base information must come from the Client in advance. It is not possible for a Customs Declaration to be 98% complete. It must be fully complete and accurate or the cargo will not be permitted to move by the relevant Customs Authority.

Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers are expert in the Customs Clearance process, the complexity of which has only been fully appreciated this past week. To complete this process, Shippers (those Businesses exporting or importing cargo) must provide their Customs Broker with:

  • An EORI Number
  • A Commodity (TARIC) Code for their Cargo
  • An official and numbered Commercial Invoice containing certain and specific information
  • Packaging details for the cargo
  • Transport details + appropriate support documentation
  • Copies of any licences or origin related certificates that may be required
  • Access to an account with appropriate funds to cover liable Import Duty + VAT
  • Appropriate empowerment for a Customs Broker to work on behalf of the Shipper

Should Haulage Operators be a separate entity in this process, they would be responsible to provide:

  • Vehicle or Trailer registration details (that will not change)
  • Appropriate times for departure or arrival
  • Details of the Short Sea vessel utilised
  • Appropriate contact details between Driver and Broker
  • Knowledge to the Driver of how to look up the Customs Channel, 30 minutes before arrival

It is essential that those Businesses seeking to have Customs formalities completed by a third party on their behalf understand that their paperwork must be in order in advance of shipments. Expectations must move from 24 hour order periods to 2 – 3 day order periods, with sufficient time and procedures in place for advance preparation.

Irish International Freight Association has a toolkit created that covers the above (Shipper) items in further detail and with relevant links for further information. This toolkit is available via the below link to aid those Businesses that need assistance with preparing their workflow for this new trading environment:

Irish Int Freight Association - BREXIT Toolkit 2.0 - November 2020.pdf (

IIFA's BREXIT resource Centre can be assessed via this link: (page no longer live)

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