Are you ready for a no deal Brexit?

The latest Brexit deadline of 31 October 2019 will be upon us before we know it and a ‘no deal’ exit is looking highly probable.

Now is the time to ask, once again, is your business ready for a no deal Brexit? Will you be able to send goods from the UK to the EU if we leave without a deal? Will you be able to receive goods from EU countries?

To make sure you are ‘no deal’ ready:

1. Get a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number if you haven’t already got one.

2. Consider who will make customs declarations. You can use the organisation that transports your goods out of the country to make customs declarations for you. Or if you decide to make them yourself, you will need to register to use the National Export System (NES).

3. You will also need to consider where you are exporting to and what your customers will need to pay as a result. You can check each countries’ import tariffs and quotas under World Trade Organisation (WTO) on the government’s website accessed by the link below.

4. Have a think about what you’re exporting as there may be other considerations to take account of, for example, you might need to change the labelling on the packaging of your goods or apply for export licences.

Click:  https://www.gov.uk/prepare-export-from-uk-after-brexit  for more information on the above.

5. Register for ‘simplified import procedures’, this will make importing goods from the EU easier as you won’t have to fill out a full customs declaration in advance. You will also need to apply for a duty deferment account.

6. Check how much customs or excise duty you will need to pay and check when you will need to pay and account for VAT on your imports.

7. As with exports, you will need to consider what changes may apply due to the type of goods you are importing.Click: https://www.gov.uk/prepare-import-to-uk-after-brexit and check the detailed procedures for imports.

8. If you are a haulier who transports goods out of the UK by road then there are several things to contemplate:

– Drivers will need extra documentation to cross the border between the UK and EU including an international driving permit (IDP) and they will need to check their passport is valid to travel in the EU.

– Vehicle documents

– Documentation for importing and exporting goods

– Different documents at roll-on roll off locations

– You will need to check with your customers that they have received ‘permission to progress’ (P2P) to the port from HMRC before taking goods across the border.

Click: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transport-goods-out-of-the-uk-by-road-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal-checklist-for-hauliers to find out more if you are a haulier.

Indications are that many businesses have not yet applied for EORI numbers or other registrations they will need in the event of a no deal Brexit. As we get closer to 31 October, demand and pressure on government systems is likely to increase, so businesses would be best advised to apply sooner rather than later.

Most importantly…stay informed! The rules could change at any time depending on what terms are ultimately agreed with our EU comrades, by keeping up to date you can stay ahead of the changes and be ‘no deal’ ready.

The East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce’s Brexit hub is a valuable source of information for businesses and can be found here:  https://www.chamberelancs.co.uk/brexit/

For advice on any aspect of VAT, including Brexit, please contact Steven Cosgrove using the details below.

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Steven Cosgrove
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