Skip to main content

15. December 2020

Brexit Zollvertreter Vorratsgesellschaft brexit-zoll.jpg

Brexit: shelf companies as indirect customs representatives in the EU

Update 06 January 2021: Shortly before the end of 2020 the EU and the United Kingdom reached a trade agreement which resolves many uncertainties. One core aspect: the exemption from duties for goods which are imported into the EU from the UK. This exemption only applies to goods which originate in the UK. Upon entering the EU, the origin of these goods has to be declared. Due to the existing and new formal requirements, British companies bringing goods into the EU still need an (indirect) customs representative. The solution to acquire a German shelf company to establish a representative within the EU therefore remains valid and relevant.

As a result of Brexit, the customs requirements for British companies for trading goods from the United Kingdom to the European Union will change from 1st January 2021. For the filing of customs declarations, you will then be obliged to use an "indirect customs representative": a company that has a registered office or permanent establishment in the EU. This company must then submit the customs declarations on your behalf.

Many British companies are thus facing enormous challenges. It is practically impossible to find indirect customs representatives on the market, and a political solution in the form of a free trade agreement is not yet in sight as of today.

For this reason, KBHT has developed a solution for you to establish an indirect representative at your own discretion for the period beginning 1st January 2021.

Use shelf companies to establish an indirect customs representative in the EU

A shelf company is usually a limited liability company in the form of a GmbH or UG (haftungsbeschränkt) that KBHT has already registered with the commercial register to support clients in quickly setting up a business. The company has a starting capital of EUR 25,000 (GmbH) or EUR 1,000 (UG) respectively and is economically unencumbered when it is sold to the client.

The shelf company is capable of acting immediately after the acquisition. Our lawyers are here to help you and can represent you during the acquisition process. The company you have acquired in this way can thus quickly act as a customs representative for your company.

According to our examination, the aforementioned procedure that allows you to establish an indirect customs representative by founding or acquiring a German company complies with the legal requirements.

Acquire your shelf company now, and benefit in 2021

You currently do not know how you can meet the customs requirements from the beginning of the new year? We are here to assist you. Simply give us a call or drop us an email. Together with our lawyers and consultants, we will draw up a strategy for the acquisition of a shelf company tailored to your individual requirements. On top of that, we offer you additional services for tax and legal support. As a consequence, not only will you acquire a new company in the EU, but also gain planning certainty and remain able to act across the EU in times of political uncertainty.

Contact us now


Thorsten Schellenberg

Tax Consultant, Partner

Location Düsseldorf / Neuss, Cologne / Leverkusen
+49 (0) 2131 / 92 43 - 27

Dr. Martin Heyes

Tax Consultant, Partner

Location Düsseldorf / Neuss
+49 (0) 2131 / 92 43 - 0

Aktuelle News

Changes in the obligation to notify the Transparency Register

Neuer Partner bei KBHT

KBHT als „Great Place to Work“ zertifiziert

KBHT & die Initiative Schmetterling - mehr als eine Partnerschaft

VAT changes from 01 July 2021: IOSS Procedure for the Import of Goods up to 150 €

FOCUS-MONEY: KBHT 2021 erneut unter Top-Steuerberatern