12 March 2019

HMRC: VAT-registered businesses should prepare for a no-deal Brexit

Owners of VAT-registered businesses are being urged by HMRC to prepare for a potential no-deal Brexit by taking steps to ensure their businesses can continue to trade with the EU and the rest of the world if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

In their letter to VAT-registered businesses, HMRC outline potential changes to customs procedures and VAT for trade between UK and EU countries if there is a no-deal Brexit.

There are steps businesses need to take now in order to continue to import and export from 29 March. Even if they don’t trade with the EU, business owners should read the letter carefully, because although UK customs processes for trade with the rest of the world will not change, they may find that they need to adapt their systems and processes.

Here are some of the steps businesses should take if a no-deal Brexit happens:

Register for an EORI (Economic Operator Registration Identification) number in order to make customs declarations for goods imported or exported by your business. If you do not have an EORI number, you should apply for one now.

Businesses can sign up for TSP (Transitional Simplified Procedures) which allows for goods to be imported from the EU without having to make a full customs declaration at the border, as well as postponing paying any import duties. If you decide to sign up for TSP, you will need an EORI.

CTC (Common Transit Convention) can be used to move goods between the UK and the EU and other CTC countries, whereby you only have to pay duty when your goods reach their final destination. If you do not use CTC, you should look carefully at whether applying now to become an authorised consignor or consignee is your best option.

Businesses should consider using a customs agent to help them with the necessary declarations. documentation and licenses.

Although a no-deal Brexit is still not certain, HMRC state: “If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal, the government’s aim will be to keep VAT procedures as close as possible to what they are now. This will provide continuity and certainty for businesses.”

To speak to one of our experienced advisors about Brexit or any other tax issues before the year-end, call us on 0161 476 9000 or contact us here.

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