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Brexit requires import and export licences

On 25 January 2018, the European Commission adopted a Communication on the impact of the Brexite on import and export licences. As the date of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU approaches, traders should be prepared for imminent changes in mutual trade.

Great Britain after Brexit Third State

Great Britain applied to leave the EU on 29 March 2017. From that date, exactly two years are planned for the negotiations on the conditions of withdrawal. Consequently, the United Kingdom will become a third country from 30 March 2019. The applicability of EU law can only be extended if a withdrawal agreement is negotiated before that date and ratified by all EU Member States.

Import and export licences will soon be required

Subject to any transitional arrangements that such an agreement may contain, an import or export licence will soon be required for the import of certain goods from the UK into the EU and the export of certain goods from the EU to the UK. For most of the goods concerned, such authorisations are not required for trade within the Union, or at least less stringent than for trade with third countries. According to the Commission, such licences issued by the UK for trade between the EU and third countries will expire from the date of withdrawal.

Goods subject to approval

Affected goods for which a licence may be required in trade with Great Britain after Brexite:

  • Waste
  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Ozone-depleting substances
  • Mercury and mercury mixtures
  • Drug precursors
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • Specimens of endangered animal and plant species
  • Cultural goods
  • Uncut diamonds
  • Dual-use goods (dual-use goods)
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Military technology and equipment
  • Certain property which could be used for the execution of the death penalty or torture.

Operators importing or exporting such goods from or to the UK should already know the conditions for the relevant authorisations. Violations can result in severe fines or penalties.

We'll answer your questions about Brexite import and export permits.

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Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

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T +49 (0) 40 / 36 96 15 0
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