HMRC has written to 145,000 VAT-registered businesses trading with the EU about the transitional simplified procedures (TSP) for customs.
These simplified procedures will initially be in place for a period of one year, to give businesses time to prepare to use the full customs processes that already apply to imports from non-EU countries.
However, businesses must register to before they can follow these interim customs procedures.
Who would benefit from the simplified customs procedures?
In the event of a ‘no deal Brexit’ almost any businesses importing goods from the EU into the UK could benefit from a simplified customs procedure.
Once businesses are registered for TSP, they will be able to transport goods from the EU into the UK without having to make a full customs declaration at the border and will be able to postpone paying any import duties.
“These procedures are designed to help importers and avoid delays by reducing the amount of information that needs to be provided in import declarations. This will allow them to defer providing a full declaration until after the goods have crossed the border and they will not be required to pay any duty until the month after the import”, says Nicola Gladwell, VAT Consultant, Rouse Partners.
The Treasury will review the policy three to six months after it is introduced on 29 March 2019 to assess how it is working and will provide at least 12 months’ notice before withdrawing TSP and applying the usual customs processes to imports from the EU, to allow sufficient time to prepare.
How can businesses register?
Registration for TSP opens on 7 February and those who import to the UK will be able to sign up via the Gov.uk website. The direct link is at the bottom of this article.
Also register for your EORI
HMRC has also reminded businesses to register for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) Number if they do not already have one.
This number is crucial to be able to trade after Brexit in the event of no deal. Obtaining an EORI number can be done online via the .Gov.uk website (direct link at the bottom of this article) and this will take approximately ten minutes.
Register for these services
Businesses can only register for TSP if they have an EORI number, are established in the UK, and are importing goods from the EU into the UK.