What does Brexit entail?
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) withdrew from the European Union (EU) on 1 February 2020. A transition period is in force until 31 December 2020, during which the UK remains linked to EU law, including the rules of the internal market and the customs union. Throughout the transition period, negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union continue with the aim of agreeing on their future relationship. The end of the transition period brings great changes for citizens of the European Union who travel to, work or study in the United Kingdom or order goods from the country.
Living or working in the United Kingdom
If you plan to start working in the United Kingdom after 31. December 2021, you will have to apply for a work permit in accordance with the rules of the UK’s points-based immigration system.
Studying in the United Kingdom
If you wish to start your studies in the UK after the 31. December 2020, you must apply for a student visa in accordance with the rules of the UK’s points-based immigration system.
Travelling to the United Kingdom
- EU citizens are allowed to travel to the UK visa-free for up to six months, if they do not intend to work in the UK or study for longer than six months. An EU citizen may enter the UK multiple times during six months, but may not in effect live in the UK by means of repeated or continuous visits.
- As a travel document we recommend to use the passport instead of an ID card. The United Kingdom allows EU citizens to enter with valid ID-card until 31.October 2021.
- The European Health Insurance Card continues to be valid in the United Kingdom after 1. January 2021.
- Be aware of changes to roaming fees if you are using your Estonian mobile phone in the UK after 31. December 2020. We recommend to check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges.
- Drivers must carry an internation insurance Green Card when driving in the UK. The same applies for UK citizens driving in the EU.
- From 1.01.2021, the EU pet passport will no longer be a valid travel document for pets. Further information concerning the requirements for bringing pets into the UK can be found here.
- From 1.01.2021, EU citizens will have no legal basis to approach UK embassies or consulates through consular assistance from third countries.
- From 1.01.2021, the level of protection for passengers travelling between the EU and the UK will change. EU passengers’ rights may no longer apply when entering or leaving the UK.
Ordering goods from the UK
UK origin postal items will remain duty free. Invoice, delivery document or customs declaration is needed in order to prove the origin. VAT is required for postal items costing more than 22 euros. When ordering goods produced in third countries from the UK, customs duties will apply.
From 1 July 2021, the EU as a whole will abolish the VAT exemption for postal items from third countries, including the UK. Therefore, from July 2021 VAT will have to be paid for all postal items dispatched from third countries. This provision will not apply for the postal items ordered from Northern Ireland, which will de facto remain a part of the EU Customs Union.
For inquiries concerning your business contact the Tax and Customs Board:
• Reet Pärgma
• Telephone: 676 1115
Information about tax changes is available on the website of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.
For inquiries concerning UK citizens’ rights contact the Ministry of the Interior:
For inquiries concerning general information contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
- Communication from the UK Government to EU citizens residing in the UK
- It is possible to sign up for e-mail updates about future changes on the website of the UK Government.
- Questions and answers prepared by the European Commission:
- Video of the European Commission about the system of applying for new right of residence
- How to prepare for Brexit? - Customs guide for businesses by the European Commission
- How the taxation rules will change after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and the European Economic Area by Estonian Tax and Customs Board
- Brexit and its effects on customs clearance and on the trade with the United Kingdom by Estonian Tax and Customs Board