From 1 January 2021, there will be changes to how you export and declare excise goods (alcohol, tobacco and certain oils).
The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.
This page tells you what you’ll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.
You can also read about the transition period.
From 1 January 2021, exports of excise goods from the UK to the EU will be treated the same as exports to the rest of the world. This includes moving excise goods to a place of export in the UK.
There may be different rules in respect of Northern Ireland movements after transition. These will be published at a later date.
Exporting excise duty paid goods
Exporting excise duty suspended goods
From 1 January 2021 you cannot use the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) to move excise duty suspended goods directly from the UK to the EU. If you move goods without following the relevant customs export procedures at the place they are exported from, you may be liable for excise duty and penalties. Your goods may also be seized.
If you raise a movement on EMCS to an EU member state 7 days before 1 January 2021 with a dispatch date on or after 1 January 2021 the movement will be rejected by EMCS and HMRC.
Moving excise duty suspended goods to the place of export from the UK
You must use EMCS to move excise duty suspended goods from within the UK to the place they are being exported from.
You’ll need to either:
- ensure the authorised warehousekeeper declares the movement on EMCS when the goods are held in excise duty suspension in their warehouse
- appoint a registered consignor to move the goods or become a registered consignor – when the goods are being released from a customs control for re-export
The authorised warehousekeeper or registered consignor must:
- complete and submit an electronic administrative document (eAD) through EMCS before the movement takes place
- get a unique Administrative Reference Code (ARC) for that specific movement (that EMCS generates)
- complete a customs export declaration using the National Export System (NES) and enter the ARC in box 40
- receive an ‘accepted for export’ notification on EMCS after the goods are cleared by customs – this should be generated if the ARC on EMCS matches the details in Box 40 of the customs export declaration
- receive a ‘report of export’ to ensure the export is closed on EMCS
If the ARC does not match the customs export declaration within 30 days of the customs export declaration being submitted, the warehousekeeper or registered consignor will receive a ‘rejected for export’ notification to remind them that the movement is still open on EMCS. You’ll need to establish why this has happened and take corrective action.
|‘Accepted’||The customs export declaration has been accepted|
|‘Rejected for export’||The ARC does not match the customs export declaration on CHIEF|
|‘Exporting’||The ARC matches the customs export declaration on CHIEF and the goods have been cleared by customs|
|‘Delivered’||The goods have departed the UK|
If you’re a registered excise business or use authorised destinations
From 1 January 2021, the following registered excise businesses and some authorised destinations will no longer be authorised to receive or dispatch excise goods:
- registered consignee (including movements for direct delivery)
- temporary registered consignee
- unknown destination for energy products
- tax representative (for excise duty on distance sales from the EU)
- registered commercial importer
- unregistered commercial importer
Movements to exempt consignees will also no longer be able to take place on EMCS.
If this impacts your business, you’ll need to take steps so that you can continue trading.
If your goods are dispatched on or before 31 December 2020 but received on or after 1 January 2021
You do not need to complete a customs export declaration in the UK if:
- the goods are travelling under a recognised excise scheme at that time
- you can show that the movement started on or before 31 December 2020
The export requirements and any sanctions that may apply to these goods will be based on the UK excise legislation and duty points that apply at the time the movement started.
HMRC or Border Force may ask for evidence of the date and time your goods were dispatched. You can show this by providing:
- for excise duty suspended goods – the eAD or a commercial document containing the ARC
- for excise duty paid goods, either:
- the request to import excise goods bought duty paid in an EU member state (HM4)
- the Simplified Accompanying Administrative Document (SAAD) form
If you cannot prove the date and time your goods were dispatched, the movement will be treated in the same way as one that started on or after 1 January 2021 and customs export procedures will apply.
Closing duty suspended movements that started on or before 31 December 2020 but received on or after 1 January 2021
If your goods arrive at their EU destination on or after 1 January 2021 but were dispatched from the UK before this time (or have not left the EU but were dispatched on or before 31 December 2020 as an indirect export):
- you will not get a report of receipt or report of export on EMCS to close the movement
- to close the movement in EMCS you’ll need to provide an alternative proof of receipt
If you do not receive an endorsed copy of the SAAD back from the EU business for excise duty paid goods, you’ll need to provide an alternative proof of receipt.
Excise duty drawback claims
If you provide HMRC with an EX75 Notice of Intention (NOI) on or before 31 December 2020 but the drawback claim is made after this date, the way you can claim duty drawback will change.
HMRC will provide more information about these changes before 1 January 2021.