With Brexit due to come into effect on January 1st, 2021, we understand many businesses still have questions and concerns. We know there are many moving parts when it comes to Brexit but rest assured, Fastway Couriers is committed to supporting our customers to ensure their goods are processed seamlessly and successfully between Ireland and the United Kingdom.


What Brexit Means for Your Business?

Unfortunately, Brexit is expected to have significant implications, for companies moving goods between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Of critical importance and irrespective of any trade deal that may be negotiated, customs formalities will come into effect from January 1st, 2021.

If your business moves goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the rest of the United Kingdom, or between Ireland and mainland Europe, where the United Kingdom is used as a land-bridge, it means these goods will be subjected to new custom declarations, checks, formalities, regulations, and possible new charges.

These new charges could include Export and or Import Declarations, Duties, and VAT – on top of existing transport charges and of course the value of the goods. It is very important that you and your customers/suppliers clearly understand who is responsible for what charges and more importantly who is responsible for paying these charges. But rest assured, we deliver, that's what we do, and we are well-positioned to deliver for our customers through these uncertain Brexit times.




  Your Brexit Questions Answered


What is the update on Brexit?

With the ongoing negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, here at Fastway Couriers, we are planning with a ‘No Deal’ Brexit in mind. Our plans ensure a seamless movement of goods for all our clients between Ireland and the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom to Ireland including Northern Ireland, once the transition period ends on December 31st, 2020.


What is the difference for me or my business between a ‘Trade Deal’ and a ‘No Trade Deal’ Brexit?

Once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, customs formalities between both jurisdictions will apply whether there is either a ‘Trade Deal’ or ‘No Trade Deal’. In both scenarios, customs declarations will have to be completed for goods to travel in either direction.


What are the current possible trade scenarios from January 1st, 2021?

The trading relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom will depend on the outcome of the current ongoing negotiations, between both parties. However, from January 1st, 2021, there will likely be one of two trade scenarios that the European Union - United Kingdom will conduct trade under – these are:

  • A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) - the ongoing talks between the European Union and the United Kingdom is aiming to conclude an FTA, by the end of the transition period. While nobody knows the outcome of these talks, an FTA would generally mean, tariffs and quotas would not be applied on many goods traded between the European Union and the United Kingdom. However, for some goods, exceptions will apply. Similarly, an FTA is unlikely to abolish all customs formalities, meaning additional paperwork and or formalities will still be required.
  • World Trade Organisation (WTO) - In the event of a Free Trade Agreement not being reached by the end of the transition period, the European Union and the United Kingdom will trade on WTO terms. In this situation, goods will be subject to customs clearance and inspection, while tariffs will be imposed on goods that European Union countries send to the United Kingdom and vice versa.

How has Fastway Couriers prepared for Brexit?

Fastway Couriers has invested significantly in our operations, technology, resources, and teams, to ensure we’re fully prepared for Brexit, with the aim of taking the hassle out of the Brexit process for you. Detailed below are some of the steps we have taken as part of our Brexit preparation plans:

  • Significantly, Fastway Couriers has AEO level C status, which means we’re recognised Internationally as an Authorised Economic Operator and therefore, have simplified customs procedures.
  • Another positive development is that we have established temporary storage facilities at our main sortation hub and in our Dublin warehouse for the retention of any parcels prior to any applicable VAT and duties being paid to Irish Revenue or HMRC in the United Kingdom.
  • We have established a working Brexit Steering Group, to ensure we keep up to date with new developments and answer any outstanding questions you may have.
  • We have recruited our customs clearance team who will complete all the necessary declarations on your behalf. Once we receive your completed manifest, Fastway Couriers will do the rest.
  • Fastway Couriers have enhanced our label shipping solutions to be compatible with the required customs declarations. Now you can choose the correct Commodity or HS codes that apply to the goods you are sending. Additionally, the required mandatory data fields have been added to your label platform for you to complete prior to dispatching your parcels. This functionality is only possible if you choose the commercial term / incoterm ‘Delivered Duty Paid’.
  • We have created a payment portal to receive the appropriate taxes and duties due. This will be available via an API to calculate the amount of VAT and duty to be paid. You will need to decide whether you are collecting these charges at checkout (DDP/Delivered Duty Paid) or the consignee pays prior to Fastway Couriers dispatching the parcel to the United Kingdom (DDU/Delivered Duty Unpaid).

What can Fastway Couriers do to help me, or my business prepare for Brexit?

As your logistic partner, we are here to answer any questions or concerns you have about Brexit, no matter where you are on your Brexit journey. We encourage you to familiarise yourself, with all the information available on this resource page. Finally, should you choose, we can act as your Direct Representative, by providing the full required customs declarations suite on your behalf – giving you more peace of mind. We deliver, that's what we do, and we are well positioned to deliver for you, our customer, through these uncertain Brexit times.


If Fastway Couriers becomes my Direct Representative, will there be a cost?

Unfortunately, yes. From December 31st, 2020, custom declarations will become a reality if your business moves goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland, Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, or between Ireland, and mainland Europe, where the United Kingdom is used as a land-bridge. As there will be additional administrative resources required in completing these customs declarations, on your behalf, there will be a small additional charge, which we intend to keep to a bare minimum.


What information do I need to provide Fastway Couriers to complete these declarations on my behalf?

To complete these declarations on your behalf, you will need to supply the following:

  • Your EORI number
  • Consignee EORI number (If Business to Business)
  • Country of dispatch
  • Country of destination
  • Reason of export
  • Description of goods
  • Invoice value of goods in local currency
  • Appliable VAT
  • Applicable duties
  • Number of items
  • Commodity code
  • Country of origin of the goods
  • Weight of the shipment (Kg’s only; 500g = 0.5kg)

What do I need to do to send parcels to the United Kingdom?

In preparation for Brexit, we have enhanced and simplified the user experience for you. If shipping goods to the United Kingdom, you simply purchase your U.K. labels as normal through your labelling platform or directly from the Fastway shared services centre. However, you will need to ensure, you have filled out all the mandatory data fields required in your manifest. Finally, you will need to decide whether you are collecting the duty at checkout (Delivery Duty Paid) or if the receiver/ consignee pays the duty (Delivery Duty Unpaid).


Is there any change to the service offered by my Courier?

No, you can still expect the same great service from your local courier. They will collect your parcels as normal.


Is there a difference between sending parcels to Northern Ireland versus the United Kingdom?

Following Brexit, Northern Ireland's border with the Republic of Ireland will be the only land border between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Under an arrangement known as the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) which was introduced to avoid a border on the island of Ireland and to allow free movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (and vice versa).


Do I have to pay extra if I am receiving parcels from the United Kingdom for myself to my home/work address?

Currently, all ecommerce parcels from the United Kingdom are subject to VAT which is included in the selling price that you pay for your goods. This will remain the case unless the shipper requests Fastway Couriers to collect this VAT from you directly (Delivery Duty Unpaid) instead of collecting it at checkout (Delivery Duty Paid). If duties must be charged, then this will depend on the description of the goods you are ordering.

No parcels can be released into free circulation for delivery until all taxes and duties, if applicable are collected.


What is the situation with parcels or items I wish to return via Parcel Connect?

There is no change to how you complete this transaction at your local Parcel Connect store. Any VAT, duty or another costs that are due to be returned to you, will be done by the company that initially collected these from you. In the majority of cases, this will be the company you purchased the goods from, as VAT and duty would have been collected at checkout.


Will it take me longer to send my parcels than normal?

No – if you choose Fastway Couriers as your Direct Representative, all customs declarations and paperwork will be managed by Fastway Couriers. Additionally, we recommend choosing Delivery Duty Paid (DDP), as your Incoterm, to ensure all duty and VAT are paid in advance of delivery, thus avoiding unnecessary delays.


What are Incoterms and why are they important?

Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) clearly defines who is responsible for paying for and managing the shipment, insurance, documentation, customs clearance, and other logistical activities. While there are 11 Incoterms, two we would like to highlight are:

  • Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) – this means your customers will pay any applicable VAT and/or duty at checkout, in advance of delivery. We discuss below, but the Fastway labelling platform can take care of this for you and while there will be a small administration cost, this is outweighed by a smoother, more seamless delivery experience for your customers. Not only, does your customer gets what they want, when they expect it at a price they have already agreed to pay, but you remain in control.
  • Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU) – here the receiver / consignee is liable for any VAT and duty that may be applicable plus any administration charges. It’s important to note, that with this scenario, the receiver / consignee must pay all applicable charges, before goods can be delivered. When DDU is chosen, it could lead to delays in delivery times, undelivered parcels, additional charges and ultimately an unsatisfied customer experience.

Why is it important to decide who pay’s the VAT and Duty charges?

It is critical you decide who is paying these charges? Will it be you or the parcel receiver? Before you make that decision, do consider:

  1. VAT – Whether it’s a B2B or B2C transaction, you don’t charge VAT on the parcel to your consignee. However, the consignee will be liable for VAT to HMRC at the point of import, i.e., when it arrives into the United Kingdom.
  2. Duty – Whether duty is applicable will be determined by Commodity or HS code of the item. The relevant code must be included in your manifest before a parcel is release.

Whether the burden of these additional costs ultimately sit with you, the receiver or the seller, you will see there are several benefits should you choose to manage the payment of these charges yourself, with the support and guidance from Fastway Couriers.


Will it take me longer to receive my parcels than normal?

No – if you choose Fastway Couriers as your Direct Representative, all customs declarations and paperwork will be managed by us.


What immediate steps do I need to take?

While Brexit is an unwelcome development for many businesses, being prepared will make the process much easier. Below are critical steps that must be taken:

  • Secure your EORI number
  • Familiarise yourself with International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) that apply to the movement of your goods and ensure everything is agreed in advance.
  • Identify the correct Commodity or HS codes of the goods you are moving.
  • Know how to complete a commercial invoice.
  • When completing your manifest, ensure you provide the data for all the mandatory fields, to allow for the timely completion of all required declarations.
  • Open dialogue with your customers or suppliers and reach an agreement on who is paying what charge.
  • Talk to your local Fastway Couriers representative on how we can help you and your business on your Brexit journey.



Get in touch

We’re here to help our customers every step of their Brexit journey. If you have questions about Brexit, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Fastway Couriers Sales Representative in the first instance, where they will be more than happy to help and support you.

Not a Fastway Couriers customer and have questions or need to talk about successfully moving your goods between Ireland and the United Kingdom?

Why not email our dedicated Brexit support center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we'll respond directly.

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