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Brexit Brexit - Need to know

Brexit Jargon Buster

01 Oct 2019

Confused by Brexit terminology? Our Brexit jargon buster will help you know your EORI number from your TSPs...

EU Withdrawal Bill

The piece of legislation designed to repeal the European Communities Act of 1972, which brought the UK into the European Economic Community (now the European Union).

Single Market

The EU’s common market territory which removes regulatory barriers between its members, allowing for the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour. It is underpinned by a legal system of rights and obligations. The European Economic Area (EEA) is a zone which, through the EEA Agreement, extends the Single Market to non-EU countries like Norway, albeit with a different approach to voting rights.

EU’s Customs Union

There are numerous customs unions across the world. The EU’s common trade area whereby all participating states are subject to the Common Commercial Policy. Countries share the EU’s Common External Tariff and goods moving between states can move without additional customs checks. The EU also has separate customs unions with other countries which are different.

Political Declaration

A statement that contains the framework for future UK-EU relations, accompanying and referred to in the Withdrawal Agreement. The political declaration is not legally binding but it is expected to serve the basis for negotiations on the future relationship.

Most-favoured nation (MFN)

A non-discriminatory clause based on the idea that all countries should treat one another equally in international trade. The baseline of WTO rules, which only preferential deals (like the EU, EEA FTAs and the Withdrawal Agreement) allow for departure from to extend preferential market access between countries.

Binding Tariff Information (BTI)

A ruling issued by customs authorities like HMRC which provides legal certainty for the tariff classification of their goods. 

TARif Intégré Communautaire (TARIC)

A multilingual database administered by the EU which explains the measures relating to the EU customs tariff. A 10-digit TARIC code must be used in customs and statistical declarations when trading with third countries.

Marketing authorisation (MA)

An authorised status provided to pharmaceutical companies, provided by the European Medicines Agency upon successful application. The marketing authorisation holder (MAH) can market medicine and make these available to customers throughout the EU. 

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

An internationally-recognised quality assurance status and a trusted trader scheme which indicates a company’s supply chain is secure and its customs procedures are compliant. There are different categories of AEO. It reduces (but not does not remove) the possibility and number of full checks at the border – providing for speedier clearance.

Certificate of Origin

A declaration which proves goods are wholly obtained, manufactured or processed in a particular country. It can be obtained from a chamber of commerce for a fee.

Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Carnet

An internationally-recognised permit which simplifies administrative procedures for road transport operators. The EU’s Single Market means the TIR system has become obsolete among Member States.

Single Administrative Document (SAD)

The main customs form used by businesses for trade to and from the EU. Traders must fill out the details of the form, including: what the goods are, where the goods are going, the commodity code of the goods and the Customs Procedure Code, which determines how customs authorities treat the goods upon import. The document is not necessary for intra-EU goods movements.

Transit Accompanying Document (TAD or T1)

A transit document which allows for goods originating outside of the EU to move freely within the EU. No customs duties or taxes are payable as the shipment moves from one country to the next within the European Union.

Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number

A number assigned by HMRC to importers and exporters used in the process of customs entry declarations and customs clearance for shipments travelling to and from the EU as well as countries outside of the EU. The EU also issues its own EORI numbers for trade with the bloc as well. After Brexit, traders may need both sets of EORI numbers to carry on trading with the EU.

Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSPs)

A set of mitigations introduced by HMRC to allow traders some relief from immediate duty and import VAT requirements under a no-deal Brexit. Businesses importing from the EU can register for TSPs to benefit from deferred payment obligations to HMRC.


An EU regulation that allows a business within the European Economic Area to carry out activities in another EEA state without needing further authorisation.

MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) II

An EU regulation designed to increase competition, consumer protection and transparency into the trading of all asset classes. It came into effect in January 2018.

Council of Europe Convention on Transfrontier Television

An EU treaty allowing for the free circulation of transfrontier television programmes.

VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS)

An EU-scheme which allows companies over the VAT threshold to avoid having to register for VAT in every EU country where they sell digital services to. Will become unavailable for UK firms to use under a no-deal Brexit, although they can register for the non-EU VATMOSS scheme.

Common Travel Area (CTA)

A special travel zone established in 1923 comprising the UK and Northern Ireland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Both the UK and EU have committed the preservation of the area.

This is an extract from the IoD’s Business Planning for Brexit guide

For more information on preparing your business for Brexit, visit the government’s Get ready for Brexit website

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