Cryoport Client Informational Bulletin: Brexit

Wed, Dec 02, 2020 | By Donna Thresher, Director of Global Regulatory Trade and Compliance, Cryoport Systems 

The Brexit transition period is set to expire on December 31, 2020. If you have questions regarding possible outcomes and effects on transporting goods across international borders, please review the following 


On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) officially withdrew from the European Union (EU).  An eleven-month transition period was enacted to negotiate trade terms between the UK and the EU, this transition period expires on December 31, 2020.   

Two Outcomes Currently Under Discussion (as of Dec. 2, 2020)

A Free Trade Agreement (FTA): If an FTA is agreed upon, this could result in tariffs and quotas not to be applied on the majority of goods traded between the UK and EU. However, even with an FTA there could be customs formalities associated with clearance and documentation. 

World Trade Organization terms: If an FTA cannot be agreed upon by the end of the transition period, “no deal Brexit”, the UK and the EU will trade on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms. The UK will be considered a Third Country, and Shipments will be subject to customs tariffs, clearance procedures, and inspections. Thus, duty and taxes are expected to be imposed on goods that the UK sends to EU countries and on goods EU countries send to the UK. 

If a “no deal Brexit” occurs on December 31, 2020 the following would take place for shipment movements from the EU to the UK: 

  • Export Declaration out of the EU 
  • Import procedures and declarations with UK customs (similar to what occurs from rest of world to UK) 
  • UK importers will need to have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number (EORI) 
  • Movements between Northern Ireland and Ireland have as of yet been fully negotiated 
  • (Note that shipments from UK to EU will also require Export and Import clearance procedures.) 

How Cryoport Systems Is Handling This Situation: 

We are closely monitoring the ongoing negotiations and working with our transportation network to further understand their capabilities. There is a large likelihood that a “no deal Brexit” will occur since we are rapidly approaching the December 31 deadline. This may result in border clearance impacts in the first few months of this transition, due to higher clearance volumes being seen in the UK and EU from Brexit. However, the integrated carriers we contract with are well versed in clearance capabilities; as they currently provide clearance, in the UK and EU, from rest of the world. We will continue to work closely with our transportation partners to understand impacts as we move through the transition. 

We are also in close collaboration with our subsidiary company in the EU, CRYOPDP, to help assist in transportation needs for our EU clients. CRYOPDP can also facilitate clearance on behalf of an importer into the UK.    

 We encourage clients to contact us directly with any questions. 

Additional Resources:

Other Important Regulatory Updates: 


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