Government promises simplified customs procedures in event of no-deal Brexit

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will introduce a simplified importing procedure for businesses trading with the EU should the UK leave without a deal in March.

Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for customs will allow businesses to transport goods into the UK from the EU without having to make a full customs declaration at the border.

The temporary arrangement will also allow businesses owners to postpone payments on import duties.

To register, businesses require a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, which we’ve highlighted in a previous blog.

EORI numbers are currently used by businesses who trade with the rest of the world (not including the EU). Up until now, agreements between EU member states mean that an EORI number is not required.

However, if the UK were to leave the EU with no deal in place, UK businesses will need to apply the same processes to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.

If you do not already have a valid EORI number, your business can apply for one here.

Commenting on the announcement, Treasury Minister Mel Stride 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.”

According to Ms Stride, the Government has so far written three letters to more than 145,000 VAT-registered businesses trading with the EU.

She added: “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.”