Trading with the EU after Brexit: what you need to do

The Government has written to 145,000 VAT-registered businesses which trade with the EU explaining the changes to customs, excise and VAT in the “unlikely” event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The letter explains that, if the UK were to exit the European Union without a deal in place on 29 March 2019, there would be “immediate changes to the way you trade with businesses in the EU”.

It sets out three primary actions businesses need to take now to get ready for this event, which it asks for companies to “read carefully”.

The actions are outlined below:

1) Register for a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number

Businesses can access this on www.gov.uk/hmrc/get-eori. You must register to continue to import or export goods with the EU after 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves without a deal. You will also need to register before you can apply for authorisations that will make customs processes easier for you.

2) Be prepared to make customs declarations

Businesses should either hire an agent to make import and/or export declarations for you or purchase software that interacts with HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) systems to make declarations yourself. Ensure an expert is in place before 29 March 2019 to continue trading with the EU.

3) Do you need any additional information to make declarations?

HMRC has advised that businesses should contact the organisation that moves your goods to find out if you will need to supply additional information to them so that they can make the appropriate safety and security declarations for your goods. Alternatively, you may need to submit these declarations yourself.

The Government had said it will write to businesses again to let them know of further actions as and when you need to take them.

For expert Brexit advice, including help preparing to trade with the EU in the event of a no-deal scenario, please get in touch.

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