*The following article/advice was updated in April 2019 to reflect the updated departure date for the UK leaving the EU. The new date is now 31st October 2019, and it is essential that businesses now use this additional time to prepare for Brexit, by following the advice below.
The UK is currently scheduled to leave the EU, on Thursday 31st October 2019 and as that date draws closer, and a deal is yet to be secured, it is imperative to prepare for the possibility of a no-deal, or “hard” Brexit.
In the event that the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, that could mean World Trade Organisation rules come in to effect for trade between the UK and EU, and in that instance, customs clearance formalities will have to be completed, potentially including the processing of customs duty/excise and customs vat.
You will need to decide if your business has the capability to make customs declarations, which will require software to link with the HMRC systems. Alternatively, you can appoint a Freight Forwarder, like us, or a customs agent, to process your customs declarations on your behalf.
As well as this, you should also consider the following steps;
- Any company exporting or importing goods to/from the EU, should obtain an EORI number. This applies even if you are not currently VAT registered. This number is valid throughout the EU and is used as a common reference number for interactions with the customs authorities in any EU Member State. It is free of charge to apply for your EORI number, and this can be done online following the links below;
- After Brexit, paperwork and documentation accompanying goods being shipped will be even more important. The following details will most likely be required for every shipment to/from the UK, and should be included on invoice and packing list where possible;
- Name, address and EORI number for recipient of shipment.
- Name, address and EORI number of the sender of shipment.
- Value of goods.
- Country of origin.
- Place of destination.
- Net/Gross weight / Number of Packages.
- Description of goods (including UN number for ADR (haz) cargo)
- Commodity code of goods.
- Delivery terms (Incoterms).
- Imports have the added element in that they will require payment of DUTY before they leave the UK arrival port. Plans must be put in place to accommodate this. (VAT will not be an issue as the UK will move onto Post VAT accounting.) Duty rates are currently unknown, however Duty can be paid by the following methods:
- Duty Deferment Account
- FAS (paid directly to the HMRC)
- By an agents Deferment (if available)
Failure to provide correct information may delay your cargo so please act now and consider what action if any you need to take.
Please be advised that this information is subject to change, and based solely on the details known today.
If you have any concerns regarding Brexit, or would like further assistance in terms of your Brexit “readiness”, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will try to ensure you get the most up to date advice, or point you in the right direction for clarification.
Helpful websites for staying up-to-date on Brexit Developments for your business;
UK Government – https://www.gov.uk/find-eu-exit-guidance-business?keywords=&order=most-relevant
Irish Government – https://www.revenue.ie/en/customs-traders-and-agents/brexit/index.aspx