HMRC have recently issued guidance regarding the changes to the customs and border arrangements when the UK leaves the EU. The letter HMRC have issued can be accessed at HMRC letter about leaving the EU. Brexit and the movement of goods is a question that all businesses will need to consider to some degree.
From 1 February the UK will no longer be a member of the EU but there will be an implementation period that will run until 31 December 2020. During this period there will be no changes to the terms for trading with the EU or the rest of the world as a result of Brexit. The EU rules for customs, VAT and excise will continue to apply to the movement of goods and trade during this implementation period.
HMRC advise there will be no new customs procedures at present. If you applied to use the Transitional Simplified Procedures there is no need to use these procedures during the implementation period and use of this scheme has been suspended.
Leaving the EU Customs Territory in 2021
From 1 January 2021, once the UK is outside of the EU’s customs territory, customs arrangements will change. For trade between Great Britain and the EU customs declarations will be required to import or export goods. In order to make customs declarations you will need a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
The evidence you must hold to zero rate the sale of goods to customers in the EU will also change.
There are some steps that can be taken now to prepare for the new processes
If you do not have a UK EORI you can apply for one at www.gov.uk/eori
You should also decide whether to use a third party, such as a customs agent, to complete customs declarations or whether you will make these yourself. If you intend using an agent to make declarations and do not currently have one HMRC recommend you start contacting them now.
The arrangements for movements of goods between Northern Ireland and the EU after 31 December 2020 have not yet been finalised and HMRC will be issuing more guidance and information during the implementation period.
If you intend completing customs declarations yourself you may be eligible for a grant to help towards the cost of training, recruitment and IT improvements. Details are available at www.gov.uk/guidance/grants-for-businesses-that-complete-customs-declarations
If you would like to discuss your own position or require more information about the changes, please contact us.