UKFT can help members to chart the best course for their business. We are here to help our members make sense of the new rules and offer strategies for how individual businesses can best adapt to the new arrangements.
Our team of industry experts can help UKFT members through the rules and regulations, as well as assist by checking customs declarations. Our trusted associate members can also offer advice on logistics, VAT, tax and legal issues that will inevitably be encountered along the way.
Unfortunately we are unable to answer non-member queries at this time.
An ATA Carnet is a physical, international customs document, that allows the temporary export and import of goods, tax and duty free. ATA Carnets are accepted in most major fashion and textile markets, but not all.
From 1st January 2021, you must have an ATA Carnet to take samples to trade shows in the EU and for other temporary exports to and from the EU. If you do not have a Carnet you will be charged tariffs and import VAT when you take your samples overseas and when you bring them back.
If showing at an exhibition or taking commercial samples overseas temporarily, an ATA Carnet is the most effective way to clear Customs without paying import duties, tariffs or VAT.
UKFT has produced a Guide for Members about the use of an ATA Carnet. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for your member copy or more information about becoming a UKFT member.
SPECIAL BENEFITS FOR UKFT MEMBERS
UKFT is a Member of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC). All UKFT members can now benefit from an excellent discounted rate when applying for an ATA carnet, as well as on other export and import documentation processing fees.
If you are trading with countries outside the EU on a wholesale basis, you will need an EORI number. UK companies can find this here.The process varies according to whether you are VAT registered in the UK and whether you intend to make customs declarations yourself. You will need to look up your Harmonised Commodity Codes (HCC) for each product to be able to calculate the duty and VAT rates for goods whether you are selling wholesale or shipping direct to a consumer. If you are using a delivery service like UPS, Yamato (for Japan) or DHL, they may be able to simplify this for you but it still the exporter’s responsibility to understand the rules and get the paperwork right.
Once you know the Commodity Code of your goods, you can check the specific duty rates and any special requirements/exclusions on the EU Market Access Applied Tariffs Database for the specific duty rates in the country you are selling to. The duty must be calculated on your FOB price. You need to be sure which column you are looking at for the duty. It is mostly likely to be MFN (Most Favoured Nation) but you should always check which countries are included in case there are any changes.
Specifically if you are selling to the USA, there may be temporary exclusions, tariff hikes and quotas on certain products manufactured or having their legal origin determined as being outside the EU. For example, the USA has levied additional tariffs and exclusions on certain goods from China. Additional information can be found on the USA Customs website or The Office of Textiles and Apparel in the USA.
If you are selling to Canada, Canadian duty rates and regulations differ substantially from those in the USA and there is a CETA Free Trade Agreement on goods between the EU and Canada. More details can be found here.
It is the responsibility of the exporter to understand the duties, tariffs and any other requirements relating to their product and its origin in the country they are selling to. UKFT members can contact UKFT for more help and guidance.
For temporary exports, please also see UKFT’s briefing on ATA Carnets.
The following notes are for guidance only; they do not constitute legal advice and are given in good faith. UKFT disclaims any liability resulting from actions taken after reading these notes.
DO YOU NEED TO REGISTER FOR VAT?
You do not have to register for VAT in the UK until your annual turnover exceeds £85,000, but you may find it advantageous to do so before then, especially if you are an exporter and if you plan to exhibit abroad. It will give you more credibility when dealing with overseas buyers. It will make payments to suppliers easier and can be beneficial to your cash flow. If you are buying fabric or getting your collection made in Italy, for example, you will have to pay Italian VAT if you are not VAT-registered.
If you are exhibiting at a trade show in Europe and are not VAT-registered in the UK, you would be charged the local VAT (as much as 20% or 25%, depending on the country VAT rate) on the full stand costs and you would not be able to claim this back. Find out more .
If you plan to export or import goods either within or outside the EU, an EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number) will simplify your export administration, and your relationship with HM Customs and Excise. Registering for one is free and simple. More information is available here.
If you are doing a lot of importing and exporting across the supply chain, you should also consider applying for Authorised Economic Operator status (AEO). This concept is based on exporters and importers complying with internationally recognised standards of practice, which enable them to have a closer relationship with customs authorities and to simplify their paperwork. You can read more here.
See our downloads section for more details on your VAT responsibilities.
International Trade Regulations
There are no downloads available for this section.
The guide provides an overview of the clothing, footwear and fashion sector in the adult and children’s markets, the key regulations you will need to comply with as an exporter or importer and selected sources of further help and support.
It will show you how to research your export destination for a wide range of garments and products, comply with and benefit from tariffs and duties and meet the quality requirements for children’s clothing in particular.