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Customs Zones Explained, with Speedy Freight

With all the jargon around Brexit, it can be difficult to know what exactly needs to be done to move goods and services internationally, between Britain and the EU. Following Britain’s formal exit from the European Union on the 1st January 2021, rules and regulations around import and export have changed as expected to reflect the separation of the two states. One cause for common confusion, amongst our clients, is the concept of Customs Zones: something that Britain’s status as part of the EU has kept us historically exempt from. Here at Speedy Freight, we’re familiar with Customs Zones, declarations and regulations on all imports and exports between the UK and the EU. Read on to find out what Customs Zones are, how they might affect you and your business, and what Speedy Freight can do to help!


What Are Customs Zones?

First, let’s establish the basics. Customs Zones essentially define what union or ‘zone’ each European country is a part of, and accordingly how their import and export relationship with each other must operate. The UK, as no longer part of the customs or economic union with the EU, is now therefore required to provide customs declarations for its import and export practices.


Are all countries in Europe part of the same Custom Zone?

It’s a common misconception that all European countries have to be within the same trading union. European countries can be considered as part of other European ‘zones’ if they have negotiated a different trade deal. The example often cited is the ‘Norway’ example, which also applies to Liechtenstein, where the country is not a member of the EU but benefits from legislation that’s been agreed between the parties. They are classed as EEA (European Economic Area) countries for the purposes of trade.


The Customs Zones as they exist currently, are known as the following: the Eurozone, the EU, the EEA, the EU customs union, the EFTA and the Shengen area. Switzerland is another model that’s often cited, where it is neither an EU nor an EEA country, but part of the single market.


Northern Ireland is another outlier of these customs zones, which is both part of the UK’s ‘third-country’ status but additionally having EU-Zone status, as it has no southern border.


What Custom Zone is the United Kingdom in now?

Currently, as far as customs and taxes go, the UK is treated the same as any other non-EU country. Trade between the UK and the EU is required to abide by the customs formalities of any other non-EU country and EU country.

This means that the UK is now required to abide by the regulations that are in place between UK and non-EU countries, which includes a whole host of new declarations, forms, certifications, and codes.


How can Speedy Freight help?

Feeling overwhelmed, lost or confused about customs zones? Speedy Freight is here to help! When it comes to understanding what you need to do to carry on with import and export to and from the EU, Speedy Freight’s Brexit Jargon Buster is your business’s best friend.

But we don’t stop there. Our international freight service means that we can even help you to ensure that you’ve filled out all your regulation paperwork, acquired your Commodity Codes, and EORI number, along with everything else you’ll need to continue your international trade.

Speedy Freight’s international logistics teams can work throughout nights, weekends and any time of day you need us to ensure you’re receiving logistics that works for you. Our expert administrative teams can organise scheduled international export to and from the EU, and thanks to our access to a fleet of over 4,000 vehicles, we can provide whatever size vehicle is the most appropriate for your international movement of goods. Our five-star Trustpilot rating speaks for itself: our drivers are reliable, dedicated, and never miss a beat. Don’t get stressed out about customs declarations – instead, let us organise it for you.

To arrange your international logistics support with Speedy Freight, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly administrative teams which are able to offer 24/7, 365

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