AMI 12055 - Locally based Agent

After Brexit: Whats changed when transporting goods to and from the UK?

Written on Tuesday 9 February 2021

After long negotiations and heated discussions it is now official: since the 1st January 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union. Amongst all the different implications that Brexit has not only on British citizens but also on many Europeans, the recent events also impacted the transportation of goods between the UK and Portugal.

Despite the trade deal announced by the UK government in late December, which was communicated as "free movement of goods", there are still many new regulations one has to be aware of. As such, there are new VAT (value-added tax) implications which result in increased prices. Additionally, the shipping times have increased significantly as all items have to clear customs first. In this article, we try to shed light on the most recent changes in the transportation regulations and simplify the information for you.

A work-around for E-Commerce

As outlined before, the shipping times from the UK have increased significantly due to customs. Unfortunately, this also includes online shopping and e-commerce. However, there is an easy fix at least for your online shopping: try to avoid Amazon UK and switch to Amazon Germany or Amazon Spain.

The German and Spanish Amazon departments are just as advanced in terms of their product portfolios as the familiar British branch - with the only difference that Germany and Spain are still in the EU. This means: Fast shipping and no additional VAT charges. And don’t worry, you can easily switch the language to English so that you won’t have to order in Spanish. De nada!

Shipping to and from the UK

However, it gets more difficult when importing or exporting larger goods. When importing i.e.used furniture for relocation purposes from Portugal to the UK, there will now be a VAT charge of 20% of the declared value when entering the UK. Additionally to the VAT and quoted price, there will be an £100 custom agent entry fee.
Similar charges will be applied when importing goods from the UK to Portugal. The Portuguese government only offers a duty relief if the declared value is less than €45 or £35, which might be helpful to returning residents. For shipments exceeding this value, customs charges now apply as well as an €60 customs handling fee.

An overview of the new customs regulations:


  • VAT charges on British e-commerce platforms
  • Increased shipping times due to customs
  • Other European e-commerce platforms, e.g. German and Spanish, still deliver without VAT or customs

Shipping from Portugal to the UK

  • VAT charge of 20% of the declared value
  • 100 pounds custom agent entry fee

Shipping from the UK to Portugal

  • Duty relief for declared value less than 45€ or 35 pounds
  • Customs charges on shipments exceeding this value
  • Customs handling fee of 60€

More information can be found at the Brexit information page of our transportation partner SendMyBag.

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