Here is a copy of the recent HMRC Guidance notice re trading with the EU if there is no Brexit deal. It was published on the Gov.UK website on 23rd August 2018.
Businesses importing from the EU in a 29 March 2019 ‘no deal’ scenario
After the UK leaves the EU, in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, businesses importing goods from the EU will be required to follow customs procedures in the same way that they currently do when importing goods from a country outside the EU. This means that for goods entering the UK from the EU an import declaration will be required, customs checks may be carried out and any customs duties must be paid.
Before importing goods from the EU, a business will need to:
- register for an UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. Businesses do not need to do anything now. There will be further information available later in the year. For those businesses that sign up for the EU Email updates, they will be contacted when this service becomes available
- ensure their contracts and International Terms and Conditions of Service (INCOTERMS) reflect that they are now an importer
- consider how they will submit import declarations, including whether to engage a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider (businesses that want to do this themselves will need to acquire the appropriate software and secure the necessary authorisations from HMRC). Engaging a customs broker or acquiring the appropriate software and authorisations form HMRC will come at a cost
- decide the correct classification and value of their goods and enter this on the customs declaration. To help classify the goods correctly, the following may be useful:
- HMRC publishes tariff information and guidance alongside the list of commodity codes needed to classify goods together with all the tariff rates, and measures
When importing goods from the EU, a business will need to:
- have a valid EORI number
- make sure that their carrier has submitted an Entry Summary Declaration at the appropriate time (see section 3)
- submit an import declaration to HMRC using their software, or get their customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider to do this for them
- pay Value Added Tax (VAT) and import duties including excise duty on excise goods unless the goods are entered into duty suspension (for example a customs or excise warehouse – a financial security will be required to cover the duty liability of the goods whilst they are being moved to the warehouse). Import VAT may also be due and more information regarding paying import VAT can be found in the ‘VAT for businesses if there’s no Brexit deal’ technical notice
- once excise goods leave a customs suspensive arrangement, they may be immediately entered into an excise duty suspension regime. A business will need to declare the goods on EMCS for onward movement via a Registered Consignor. Further information on how to do this can be found in Public Notice 197.
Businesses may also need to apply for an import licence or provide supporting documentation to import specific types of goods into the UK, or to meet the conditions of the relevant customs import procedure.
Businesses exporting to the EU in a 29 March 2019 ‘no deal’ scenario
After the UK leaves the EU, in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, businesses exporting goods to the EU will be required to follow customs procedures in the same way that they currently do when exporting goods to a non-EU country.
Before exporting goods to the EU, a business will need to:
- register for an UK EORI number. You do not need to take action now but you will want to familiarise yourself with this process
- ensure their contracts and International Terms and Conditions of Service (INCOTERMS) reflect that they are now an exporter
- consider how they will submit export declarations, including whether to engage a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider (businesses that want to do this themselves will need to acquire the appropriate software and secure the necessary authorisations from HMRC). Engaging a customs broker or acquiring the appropriate software and authorisations from HMRC will come at a cost.
When exporting goods to the EU, a business will need to:
- have a valid EORI number
- submit an export declaration to HMRC using their software or on-line, or get their customs broker, freight forwarder, or logistics provider to do this for them. The export declaration may need to be lodged in advance so that permission to export is granted before the goods leave the UK (the export declaration also counts as an Exit Summary Declaration – see section 3)
- businesses may also need to apply for an export licence or provide supporting documentation to export specific types of goods from the UK, or to meet the conditions of the relevant customs export procedure.
When exporting duty suspended excise goods to the EU, a business will need to continue to use EMCS to record the duty suspended movement from a UK warehouse or premises to the port of export.
Carriers moving goods between the UK and the EU – Safety and Security Declarations
After the UK leaves the EU, in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario carriers (for example hauliers, and train, vessel or aircraft operators) will need to make a Safety and Security Declaration for goods moving between the UK and EU. There are two types of Safety and Security Declarations: an Exit Summary Declaration (EXS) and an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS).
A carrier is generally required to submit an EXS to the customs authority of the country from which the consignment is being exported. For consignments exported from the UK the EXS generally forms part of the Export Declaration (a customs declaration).
A carrier is required to submit an ENS to the customs authority of the country that the consignment is entering.
Mitigations businesses may consider in a March 2019 ‘no deal’ scenario
Businesses should now consider the impacts on them in a ‘no deal’ scenario, which would mean a requirement to apply the same customs and excise rules to goods traded with the EU that apply for goods traded outside of the EU, including the requirement to submit customs declarations. Businesses should consider whether it is appropriate for them to acquire software and/or engage a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider to support them with these new requirements.
Businesses may want to consider whether using customs procedures would be beneficial. These allow businesses to delay or relieve the payment of customs duty for goods they import into the EU until goods are ready to be released into free circulation. A customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider can advise in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario whether one of these procedures would be suitable for your business. Customs procedures include the following:
- customs warehousing: this allows businesses to store goods with duty or import VAT payments suspended. Once goods leave the warehouse, duty must be paid unless the business is re-exporting, or moving goods to another customs procedure. The warehouse must be authorised by HMRC
- inward processing: this allows businesses to import goods from non-EU countries for work or modification in the EU. Once this has been completed, any customs duty and VAT due must be paid, unless goods are re-exported or moved to another customs procedure, or released to free circulation
- temporary admission: this allows business to temporarily import and or/export goods such as samples, professional equipment or items for auction, exhibition or demonstration into the UK or EU. As long as the goods are not modified or altered while they are within the EU, the business will not have to pay duty or import VAT
- authorised use: this allows a reduced or zero rate of customs duty on some goods when used for specific purposes and within a set time period.
For excise duty purposes, goods are not regarded as imported if they are immediately placed under one of these customs procedures. Businesses need to pay excise duty when these goods are released for free circulation, unless they are immediately placed in excise duty suspension.
As part of considering the potential impacts, businesses should take account of the volume of their trade with the EU and any potential supply chain impacts.
Businesses should now begin to look at the guidance for importing and exporting outside of the EU to familiarise themselves with the key processes. The UK government will provide further information on action to take to prepare for this scenario over the coming months.
As part of the government’s own preparations, the UK has applied to re-join to the Common Transit Convention (CTC) when it leaves the EU. The CTC facilitates cross border movements of goods between contracting parties to the Convention, by enabling any charges due on those goods to be paid only in their country of destination. The negotiations on the UK’s membership of the CTC are ongoing.
The UK government is committed to deliver a functioning customs, VAT and excise system that enables trade to flow, revenues to be collected and for the UK to have a secure border following the UK’s exit from the EU.
by M Roper | 1 October 2018