HMRC have written to businesses regarding the new trading arrangements when the UK leaves the EU Single Market and Customs Union. A copy of the letter can be read here.
The key take-home points are as follows:
- Make sure you have a GB EORI number: You should already have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. You will need this to complete customs declarations. If you do not yet have one, you can register for free
- Decide how you’re going to make customs declarations: Customs agents, freight forwarders, and express operators can help you with declarations and ensure you’re providing the necessary information. Find out more
- See if your imported goods are eligible for staged controls: Most traders with a good compliance record will be able to defer import declarations on most goods for up to 6 months after 1 January 2021. Apply to use simplified declarations for imports
- Decide how you will account for import VAT when you make a customs declaration: From 1 January 2021, businesses will be able to use postponed VAT accounting to account for import VAT on their VAT Return for goods imported from anywhere in the world.
- Check if Import VAT is due at the border: Import VAT will not be due at the border if goods in a consignment do not exceed £135 in value. The only exceptions will be excise goods and gifts.
- Check the Controlled goods list to see if you need to complete declarations from January: If your goods are not on the list you can choose to delay import declaration until July 2021. To check if your imported goods are on the controlled goods list, click
- Check the Government’s tariff tables and consider how your trade will be affected: From 1 January 2021, there will be new rates of Customs Duty for imports – called the UK Global Tariff.
- Sign up for the new Trader Support Service if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or being goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK: The free Trader Support Service (TSS) will handle the new processes arising under the Northern Ireland Protocol for you from 1 January 2021. To register your interest for using this service, click here. Further information about movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be available soon. Please note TSS is not available for goods moved between Great Britain and the EU.