Supply chain · 28 February 2019

HMRC publishes no-deal Brexit checklist to keep businesses trading with EU

Businesses using roll on, roll off ports like Calais should register for Transitional Simplified Procedures

HMRC has published a three-point checklist to support importers and exporters in the result of a “no-deal” Brexit.

The tax office is urging business owners to make the right preparations to ensure they can continue trading in and out of Europe.

“We want businesses to be able to continue trading with minimal disruption in any scenario,” said Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, “but we also know that people tend to leave things until the last minute and we would urge against that”.

  1. Register for an Economic Operator and Registration Identification (EORI) number

Leaving the EU without a deal means UK businesses trading within the EU must apply the same processes as when trading with the rest of the world.

Obtaining an Economic Operator and Registration Identification (EORI) number is the only way companies will be able to trade with the EU in the event of no-deal.

If your company has only ever traded inside Europe, it will not have an EORI number. Only 17% of UK companies currently have an EORI number, according to HMRC figures.

HMRC has the capacity to register 11,000 businesses per day with their EORI numbers.

According to Stride, registering for an EORI “is free and takes less than 10 minutes”.

Apply for your EORI from GOV.UK

Watch HMRC’s guide to importing goods from the EU under a no deal Brexit

  1. Making a customs declaration

After registering for an EORI number, business owners must consider how they want to make customs declarations.

The question business owners need to ask is – do you want to appoint a customs agent to oversee customs clearance or undertake the procedures yourself?

HMRC states that most businesses with customs obligations choose to use a customs agent for overseas trade.

  1. Register for Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP)

HMRC has advised businesses using roll on, roll off (RoRo) locations – ports like Dover where traders drive vehicles onto ferries or trains to transport goods in or out of the country – to take a final step and register for new Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP).

See a full list of RoRo locations

TSP allow business owners to import goods from the EU without a full customs declaration.

Importers can defer a full declaration until after goods have crossed the border and postpone duty payments until the month after importing.

Standard customs declarations will apply for imports using other locations, as well exports.

Register for the new TSP at GOV.UK

Watch HMRC’s guide to exporting goods to the EU under a no deal Brexit

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.