Glossary of Brexit Terms

  • Adequacy decision – A decision by the EU on whether UK GDPR complies with EU law.
  • C&E 48 – Simplified procedures for import or export.
  • CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) – The Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system records declarations to Customs of goods transported by land, air and sea. It allows importers, exporters and freight providers forwarders to complete customs information electronically.
  • Commodity Code – This code is required to calculate the duties that an importer from the EU into the UK needs to pay. Find out about the Rules of Origin on the same page ( 
  • CTC (Common Transit Countries) – The Common Transit Convention is used for the movement of goods between or through Common Transit countries. The Common Transit countries are Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Turkey, North Macedonia, and Serbia. The EU is also a member of the Common Transit Convention.
  • Customs Declarations – An importer must normally submit a full customs declaration at the time goods enter the UK or EU, unless they are putting them into temporary storage.
  • Duties/Excise Duties – Taxes paid on imports.
  • Duty Deferment Account – Anyone who imports goods regularly can apply for a duty deferment account to delay paying most customs charges, including customs duty, excise duty, and import VAT.
  • EEA – The European Economic Area (EEA), consists of the Member States of the European Union (EU) and three countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway; excluding Switzerland).
  • EFTA – The European Free Trade Association (EFTA), is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1960 to promote free trade and economic integration to the benefit of its Member States. EFTA currently has four Member States Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
  • EU – A list of the 27 member states of the EU can be found here
  • EU Blue Card – An EU Blue Card gives certain highly-qualified workers from outside the EU the right to live and work in an EU country. The EU Blue Card applies in 25 of the 27 EU countries. It does not apply in Denmark and Ireland.
  • EU (EORI) Number – Economic Operators Registration and Identification Number: businesses wishing to trade in the EU must use the EORI number as an identification number in all customs procedures.
  • EUGO / Portals of Single Contact – Points of Single Contact (PSCs) are e-government portals that allow service providers to get the information they need and complete administrative procedures online. They are managed by the ‘EUGO network’ of national coordinators.
  • EU Product Rules – Guidance on EU Product Rules can be found at
  • European Single Market – The single market refers to the EU as one territory without any internal borders or other regulatory obstacles to the free movement of goods and services. The UK is not part of the Single Market.
  • EU Settlement Scheme – See “Settled Status / Pre-Settled Status”.
  • Export (and Import) Declarations – When importing and exporting, it is the exporter / importer’s responsibility to get enough information, in writing, regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and statements required to draw up the customs declaration, the documents attached to the declaration, and compliance with the rules in force.
  • FTAs – Free Trade Agreements.
  • Freedom of Movement – The right to move freely through EU Member States. Freedom of Movement has ended for UK citizens.
  • GATS – General Agreement on Trade in Services.
  • GDPR / UK GDPR – GDPR is General Data Protection Regulation and refers to the EU rules. UK GDPR is the UK rules on General Date Protection Regulation.
  • GDPR Representative – A GDPR representative in the EU is the point of contact for all questions concerning the data protection of EU citizens and the point of contact for data protection supervisory activities.
  • IAS – International Accounting Standards.
  • ICO – Information Commissioners Office (See GDPR).
  • Immigration Health Surcharge – A healthcare surcharge (called the ‘immigration health surcharge’ or IHS) may be payable as part of an immigration application. Whether it must be paid depends on the immigration status applied for.
  • Immigration Skills Charge – You might have to pay an additional charge for each foreign worker you employ. This is called the ‘immigration skills charge’. You must pay this if applying for a visa to work in the UK for 6 months or more under either:
    • Tier 2 (General) visa
    • Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa
      If the worker has applied for their visa from within the UK, the charge is payable even if they are applying for less than 6 months stay.
  • INCOTERMS – The world’s essential terms of trade for the sale of goods. These rules provide specific guidance to individuals participating in the import and export of global trade on a daily basis.
  • Host country – The EU country whose rules apply in any given situation.
  • Points-Based Immigration – From 1 January 2021, free movement will end, and the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system. The new system will treat EU1 and non-EU citizens equally and transform the way in which all migrants come to the UK to work. Anyone coming to the UK to work, excluding Irish citizens, will need to apply for permission in advance.
  • Portals of Single Contact – Points of Single Contact (PSCs) are e-government portals that allow service providers to get the information they need and complete administrative procedures online. They are managed by the ‘EUGO network’ of national coordinators.
  • Primary Authority – Local authorities can provide Primary Authority services to businesses for all the regulatory areas within their remit that are not already covered by another primary authority. See also
  • ROO (Rules of Origin) – Rules of origin are the criteria needed to determine the national source of a product. They are important because duties and restrictions can depend upon the source of imports. There is wide variation in the practice of governments with regard to their rules of origin. See also general information about rules of origin. Find out about Commodity Codes on the same page.
  • Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status – “Settled Status” grants EU citizens and their families who have spent five years in the UK the same rights as British citizens after Brexit. This includes the right to live in the UK, healthcare, education, benefits and pensions. From January 21, 2019, EU citizens were able to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. Those who do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when they apply usually get “Pre-Settled Status”. To qualify, they must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. They can apply to change this to settled status after 5 years’ continuous residence. This must be done before pre-settled status expires. Settled status is permanent and pre-settled status is only temporary.
  • Tariffs – A tax on imports or exports.
  • Third country – A country outside the EU. Includes the UK.
  • VAT MOSS – VAT Mini One Stop Shop ( VAT MOSS ) is a way of paying VAT on supplies of certain digital services for either: a UK business who makes supplies to consumers in EU member states; or a business based outside the UK and EU and makes supplies to UK or EU consumers.
  • See also Non-Union VAT MASS – Businesses outside the EU should use the Non-Union VAT MOSS.
  • WTO – The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the global rules of trade between nations.

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