Supply chain · 5 February 2019

HMRC announces temporary customs procedures in event of No Deal Brexit

Simplified customs procedures would be in place for a year under a No Deal Brexit

HMRC has written to 145,000 UK businesses trading with EU nations about simplified importing procedures and what action they must take should Britain leave the EU without a deal.

The tax office invited businesses to register for Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) – arrangements that would allow business owners to import goods from the EU without a full customs declaration.

“Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for customs will make importing easier for an initial period of one year, should we leave the EU without a deal, to allow businesses time to prepare for usual import processes.”
– HMRC

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.

Commenting on the arrangements, financial secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride MP, said: “Leaving the EU with a deal remains the government’s top priority. This has not changed. However, a responsible government must plan for every eventuality, including a no deal scenario. Businesses and citizens should ensure they are similarly prepared for leaving the EU.

“HMRC is helping businesses get prepared and, amongst other significant communications, has written 3 times to affected businesses, each time stepping up the advice and encouraging them to take action.

“This latest letter, and new GOV.UK guidance, announces Transitional Simplified Procedures for EU trade which will ease the transition, especially for businesses new to the rules associated with importing.”

How Transitional Simplified Procedures work

Under the new procedures, the amount of information importers are required to give in an import declaration when the goods are crossing the border is reduced. Importers are able to defer:

  • Giving a full declaration until after the goods have crossed the border
  • Paying any duty until the month after import

“If tariffs apply to the goods that they import, and they want to use transitional simplified procedures, they will need to defer paying any import duties by setting up a direct debit,” HMRC said.

How long will Transitional Simplified Procedures be in place for?

HMRC anticipates TSP to remain in place for at least one year in order to give business owners time to adapt to existing rules for importing from non-EU countries.

Officials said TSP would be reviewed in the first six months after being introduced on 29 March.

HMRC also said it would consult with businesses and give at least a 12-month notice period before withdrawing TSP and applying typical customs processes.

How to register for Transitional Simplified Procedures be in place for?

Businesses can register for TSP from 7 February 2019 if they fulfill the following criteria:

  • Have an EORI number
  • Are established in the UK
  • Are importing goods from the EU into the UK

View the letter sent to 145,000 VAT-registered businesses on GOV.UK.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and has previously worked as a content editor in local government and the ecommerce industry.

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