Home » Will the new Brexit import charges affect your business? | Funding Circle UK

Will the new Brexit import charges affect your business? | Funding Circle UK

More than four years after the United Kingdom left the EU, new trade rules are coming into force this year that will impact UK businesses that import goods from the EU.

Chief among them is the introduction of the ‘common user charge’, a fee that will apply to the import of animal and plant products, such as cured meats, fish, cheese and yoghurt, into the UK from 30th April 2024. 

This new fee, together with extra border checks rolled out as part of the wider Border Target Operating Model, will impact businesses through increased costs and expected disruption to the supply chain.

Here we look at what the introduction of the common user charge will mean to you and your small business.

What is the common user charge? 

The common user charge is a fee levied on importers of certain goods from the EU. It applies to the commercial import of animal products, plants and plant products, if they enter, or transit through, Great Britain via the Port of Dover and the Eurotunnel at Folkestone.

When will the common user charge take effect?

The common user charge comes into place on 30th April 2024.

How much is the new charge? 

The common user charge will apply to each type of good, or “commodity line” imported. The charge is up to £29 per “commodity line”, depending on the risk level of each product. This will be capped at £145 for mixed consignments.

Full details of the common user charge, exemptions and how the fee is calculated has been published by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

Who will be responsible for paying the common user charge? 

If you are a UK business importing a consignment of goods that enters or transits through Great Britain through the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel you will need to pay the common user charge from 30th April 2024.

The person or organisation that submits the import notification through IPAFFS (import of products, animals, food and feed system) will be responsible for paying the common user charge for each consignment. 

Defra will issue invoices monthly, in arrears. Details on payment terms, including charges for late payments, have yet to be published, but will be made public before the first invoices are issued.

What impact will the common user charge have on my business? 

This new flat fee is expected to affect small- and medium-size businesses the most, who often ship small mixed consignments to save costs.

The following types of businesses will be most affected by the common user charge:

  • Retail – independent food shops, delis, fishmongers and butchers
  • Hospitality – cafes and restaurants
  • Food suppliers – importers of European food products
  • Horticultural – florists, garden centres and suppliers 

Need additional funds to manage your cash flow? 

If you need finance to help manage the impact of the new border charge, or any other business expense, you can apply for a Funding Circle loan or line of credit in minutes. Check if you’re eligible today.

10/04/24: While we want to help as much as we can, the information found here is provided solely for informational purposes and should not be considered financial or legal advice. To the extent permitted by law, Funding Circle does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of, or reliance on, the information contained here. If you have any questions, please speak to your professional adviser or seek independent legal advice.