Deal or no deal? How businesses trading with EU countries should prepare for Brexit

no deal brexit

With Britain’s departure date from the European Union fast approaching and Theresa May’s Brexit deal yet to be passed, businesses are being warned to prepare for a no deal situation. But what does this mean for businesses trading with the EU?

HMRC is advising businesses dealing with EU countries to take three steps now ahead of the Brexit implantation date on March 29

1. Register an EORI number:

Every business in the UK which currently exports goods outside the EU or imports goods from outside the EU should have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. EORI is a 3-digital addition to a VAT registration number and was introduced a few years ago to speed up the passing and recording of customs export declarations.

Following Brexit, goods exported or imported from the EU, will be treated in the same way as goods departing or arriving from the rest of the world, so if businesses haven’t already got an EORI number then they need to get one.

The government’s position is that if the ‘deal agreed’ with the 27 other EU countries is passed by Parliament, broadly there will be no change in the way trade is conducted and reported between the UK and those 27 countries until 31 December 2020. But don’t assume a deal will pass parliament, or wait until the last minute to act. Registering could help your business avoid significant disruption so be sure to act now.

2. Appoint a customs agent or invest in software:

Companies need decide whether they will use a customs agent to make import and/or export declarations. If they want to make the declarations themselves, they will have to get specialist software to do this.

3. Contact your haulage firm or transport organiser:

Get in touch with the organisation that transports their goods (e.g. a haulage firm) to find out if they need to supply additional information to complete safety and security declarations, or whether they will need to submit these declarations themselves. Businesses already importing or exporting goods with countries outside the EU should already be aware (either directly or via their import or export agent) that the existing CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) system is currently being replaced in phases by a new customs declaration service (called Customs Declaration Service or CDS). This is expected to be fully operational by end of March 2019.

For further information about exporting and importing, contact Pierce on 01254 688 100.