Brexit Q&A

Asendia UK’s Practical Approach to BREXIT

9th October 2018

Image of United Kingdom flags bunting in front of a blurred background of blue sky and grass

What is the status of Brexit?

The UK will leave the EU including the Customs Union at 11am on the 29th March 2019. The UK government has reached agreement with the EU on a number of the withdrawal issues. Securing a full agreement will mean continued trading with the EU will be broadly the same from March 2019 to December 2020 (the transition period) subject to all going to plan. The UK government hopes 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 UK businesses exporting to the EU as that of 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 other EU destinations requires 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 EU 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 £270 or
  • CN 23 – goods with a value over £270

Also required:

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

What about sending shipments OUTSIDE the EU?

If sending Goods with a commercial value to Non EU countries through the postal channel (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 23 declaration form

CN22 Customs declaration form

Post CN23 Customs 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 Non-EU destinations (apart from sold books). We are confident current postage rules will remain as they are today with regards to these mailings to 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 CN22/23 CN22/23
Non EU EU CN22/23 CN22/23
UK EU None TBC but likely CN22/CN23
UK Non EU CN22/23 CN22/23

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 Commercial invoice
Non EU EU Commercial invoice Commercial invoice
UK EU None TBC but likely commercial invoice
UK Non EU Commercial invoice Commercial invoice

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 to the 27 remaining EU countries and beyond.

How can Asendia UK 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 UK is well placed to support our cross-border customers ship goods to EU and global destinations capitalising on both Postal and Commercial distribution and clearance options.

Can Asendia UK 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 EU, Asendia will be able to consult and assist you. Asendia have numerous operations across Europe 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, particularly as fulfilment within Europe is generally more expensive than in the UK. In this scenario we will be able to advise on a range of delivery duty paid and unpaid solutions that we will have available to mitigate the impact as much as possible for those continuing to fulfill international orders from the UK.

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.


Xavier Goddaer

Chief Executive Officer, Asendia UK