Hello and welcome!

I hope you had a chance to read my colleague Justin’s introductory contribution to the Hellmann Brexit blog.

May I introduce myself, my name is David and amongst my duties at Hellmann UK, I take care of Customs Compliance and insurance matters.  You may feel inclined to call me Mr. Deadly, deadly boring and dull.  I have 35 years of what some might call mind-numbing experience in Customs matters.  I am far from the only member of our UK team old enough to remember how things worked prior to the Single Market – knowledge we believe may assist in smoothing off some of the roughest corners of what we are about to undergo.  The total solution to the Gordian Knot that is Brexit is not within our power, but help where we can, we will.


I will be providing updates on the blog of a more technical nature.  I hope to help draw attention to some of the tiresome but essential items we think you, our valued reader, needs to know and which may require action on your part.


Justin eluded to 106 ‘no deal’ advice papers already published by the UK government.  We urge you to try to take some of your valuable time to look at these.  Since the subject matter is broad, it is difficult to advise which papers might directly affect your business.  They can be found at:



We have learned that the EU has started to publish similar ‘no deal’ advice to EU businesses.  60 papers have been released to date.  The somewhat limited information released includes confirmation of the UK position that Customs frontier declarations will be required for UK-EU trade.  News is starting to emerge to underscore this as a very real possibility.  The Port of Zeebrugge authority has issued information that Belgian Customs have employed 141 additional Customs officers in a move which appears to be positioning Belgian ports as an alternative to Calais and the Channel Tunnel.


The UK government has also issued a ‘no deal’ Partnership Pack.  This contains basic information about what you will need to do to prepare for a 29th March 2019 hard Brexit.  The pack is designed to be digestible to SMEs who have not traded before in an environment which requires Customs declarations.  We suggest you review this sooner rather than later:



Immediate action required:  if you trade goods with the EU, we advise you apply to HMR&C now for EORI registration, which hopefully will be before an anticipated big rush.  In the event of a no deal scenario, you will need an EORI number to support export and import Customs declarations.  Don’t worry – this application is actually quite straightforward.  Usually, Customs complete the process in a few days.  When the rush starts, this, of course, could take much longer.  Start at:


After Brexit, remember your EORI

We want you to know it is mandatory

It’s a system you can’t buck

Without it you’ll be stuck

And Customs clearance will be a sorry story


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