Skip to main content

Brexit’s Impact on Customs Regulation

Subscribe for access
Author thumbnail
Author(s): Daniel Martin, Partner, Holman Fenwick Willan

Much of the focus since the UK decided to leave the EU has been on two inter-related issues, namely immigration and trade. The issues relating to trade really turn on the UK's status once it has left the EU and, in particular, whether the UK retains membership of the single market and/ or the customs union, or whether some alternative arrangement is reached. While it now looks virtually certain that the UK will leave the single market, the position in respect of the customs union is less certain.

This article looks first at the current position, and in particular the significance for businesses (both importers and exporters) of the UK's membership of the customs union. The article then considers the impact if the UK were no longer a member of the customs union, and highlights some of the issues which may have an impact on UK ports.


On 17 January 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May said that Britain would no longer be a full member of the EU customs union after Brexit, so that the country would no longer be bound by the customs union's Common Commercial Policy and Common External Tariff.

So what is the customs union and what are the EU's Common Commercial Policy and Common External Tariff?

Featured in the Edition:

The Automation, Training & Simulation Issue

PTI Edition 73 • Digital & Print
The Automation, Training and Simulation Issue delves deeply into the world of port and terminal operations and its digitalization. Digitalization has myriad benefits and these are not just limited to the productivity gains and environmental efficiency, benefits also mean a revolution in the way we carry out training.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!