Moving samples after Brexit

As the team at Q1 Scientific adjusts to the new regulations, we have created this guide to show how we can support UK companies and testing laboratories with moving samples after Brexit to and from Q1 Scientific.

From 1 January 2021 things are different

Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI) are formally no longer a member of the European Union (EU). An agreed Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK was provisionally implemented from 1 January 2021.

Most of the additional workload involved around shipping samples either to or from the UK is around paperwork.

One certainty is that samples are not impacted by the same regulatory restrictions placed on final drug products, post Brexit.

Moving your samples from / through GB to Q1 Scientific after Brexit

When moving samples to Q1 Scientific from or through GB, the rules of trade with a non-EU country will apply. You will need to:

  • Have an EORI number (Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification number) to move your samples to Q1 Scientific.
  • Complete the appropriate customs declarations to allow you to move samples from or through GB. Customs Declarations will be required from 1 January 2021 for shipments between GB and the EU (and vice-versa). Declarations need to include Tariff Codes and accurate descriptions, values and origins for your samples.
  • Make sure that your shipments to Q1 Scientific have all the proper accompanying paperwork/authorisations and that your shipment has been classified as samples for lab purposes and not for resale.

Visit the Government website to keep up to date on the latest news and advice.

Moving samples from Q1 Scientific back to your site or testing laboratory after Brexit

The team here at Q1 Scientific will take care of completing the necessary declaration paperwork when moving samples back to your UK site or testing laboratory.

Samples are arriving as normal with no compromise to service delivery.

What happens if my samples are passing through GB to the EU?

Goods that move from one EU Member State to another, through a non-EU country move under customs control. Transit is a customs procedure that allows goods to be moved across international borders under customs control.

What happens with sample shipments between Q1 Scientific and Northern Ireland?

Your samples going to / from Q1 Scientific will continue to move as normal.

The Withdrawal Agreement includes the Revised Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland that will apply from 1 January 2021. Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, trade in goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and between Northern Ireland and EU Member States, will continue unaffected, with no change at the border, no new paperwork, and no tariffs or regulatory checks.

The revised Protocol acknowledges the unique situation of Ireland and Northern Ireland through:

  • avoiding a hard border, including any physical infrastructure, or related checks and controls, between Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • safeguarding the all-island economy and the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement

Under the Revised Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland will:

  • legally remain part of the customs territory of the UK
  • effectively remain within the EU Single Market for the movement of goods

This has practical implications for rules for trade in goods between Ireland, Northern Ireland and the EU and will result in:

  • No customs declarations, tariffs or quantitative restrictions in either direction
  • No customs checks or controls on the island of Ireland
  • No safety and security requirements

Visit the Government website to keep up to date on the latest news and advice.

Will I need to pay customs duty on my samples?

If you follow the guidance in this article, no customs duty should be payable on your shipment of samples.

How can Q1 Scientific help us move samples post Brexit?

We are here to help make the transition simple for your business. Working closely with our customers we remain fully committed to supporting the cross-border transfer of samples post Brexit, minimising disruption to your supply chain.

Q1 Scientific already provides shipment services to EU and non-EU countries, so we are fully aware of the requirements and the level of detail needed to fulfil the clearance process.

If you need any further support, contact us today.


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Note: These points are for guidance. Legislation takes precedence over the content of this information and should always be consulted.