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Getting clients ready for Brexit
08/01/2020

HMRC has published a useful list to help businesses be prepared to import goods from the EU to the UK as we count down to the 31 January 2020 Brexit date. We are then likely to see a fixed transition period until 31 December 2020 by the end of which the Government expects to have a trade deal in place with the EU.

The six points of action listed are relevant if there is a no-deal Brexit but are also likely to be required once a trade deal is in place.

  1. Make sure your client has an EORI number that starts with GB. They will need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number starting with GB to continue importing goods.
  2. Decide who will make the import declarations. Your client can hire someone to deal with customs or if properly prepared, can do it themselves.
  3. Apply to make importing easier. Your clients can apply to use 'transitional simplified procedures' to reduce the amount of information they need to give at the border. They should also ensure they have a duty deferment account if they want to be able to make one payment of customs duties a month instead of paying for individual shipments.
  4. Check the rate of tax and duty they’ll need to pay. They will need to pay customs duties and VAT on all imports.
  5. Check what you need to do for the type of goods you import. There might be other things required, depending on what they are importing. For example, check if the import licences or certificates needed will change. Check the rules for importing alcohol, tobacco and certain oils. Check the labelling and marketing standards for importing food, plant seeds and manufactured goods
  6. Get help and support. HMRC has setup a Brexit imports and exports helpline. The helpline can help with queries about customs declarations and procedures, duties and tariffs, importing and exporting different goods, transporting goods to and from the EU and product safety regulations.

There are also likely to be different rules if your clients are moving goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland.