Export documents and Brexit

If the Withdrawal Agreement goes through i.e. is approved by both the UK Parliament and the EU, non-preferential certificates of origin (CO) will continue to be used for the duration of the transition period exactly as they are now and in the same EU format. These types of CO are generally called for as part of the payment mechanism e.g. via a documentary letter of credit) or for trade defence reasons, or because the importer is anticipating re-exporting the goods.

CO for exports to Arab League countries will be unaffected and there is no need for the format of the document to change in the Brexit context. In a no deal scenario a UK CO has been designed in accordance with the relevant international convention and is with government lawyers for approval. There is no reason to believe that this will not be an acceptable replacement for the current non-preferential CO.

The preferential CO – used to evidence origin in EU free trade agreements – will not be appropriate in a no deal scenario and will cease to be used as the arrangements will not automatically roll over. A variation of this document though may well be used in future UK trade agreements both with the EU and the rest of the world.

 ATA Carnets

In a deal scenario, ATA Carnets – the passports for goods being temporarily moved cross border for the purpose of being shown at trade fairs or exhibitions, or for professional equipment and samples – will continue to be issued exactly as now, at least until the end of the transition period.

In a no deal scenario it is likely that ATA Carnets – with a minor change to the information contained on the front cover of the document – will be able to be used for appropriate temporary shipments to the EU 27 as the UK has signed the relevant international conventions both as the UK and en bloc through the EU. Consequently there would be a significant increase in the number of ATA Carnets issued from the UK as well as for goods coming in temporarily from the EU.

For further information on export documents issued by LCCI contact Davor McKinley, Head of Export Documentation Team.