HMRC urges businesses to act ahead of end of transition period to “avoid disruption”

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has written to over 250,000 VAT-registered businesses urging them to “act now” ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period.

The letter, found here, outlines the actions businesses need to take to “avoid disruption” to their business from 01 January 2021, as customs processes are “complicated and can take several weeks to set up”.

According to HMRC, these include:

  • Hiring or training a customs intermediary to complete and submit import and export declarations
  • Applying for a duty deferment account, enabling duties to be paid once a month rather than on individual consignments
  • Register for the free-to-use Trader Support Service if you plan on moving goods into Northern Ireland from 01 January 2021
  • Preparing to pay or account for VAT on imported goods
  • Ensuring you have International Driving Permits, and
  • Applying for a GB Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

The guidance comes after the Government confirmed that the new Border Operating Model – which includes the new tax and customs regimes – would come into effect at the end of the Brexit transition period, regardless of “whether or not a Free Trade Agreement has been negotiated”.

Commenting on the new Border Operating Model, an HMRC spokesperson said: “We understand that these are challenging times, but time is running out for businesses to get ready.

“New customs and tax rules will not change or go away if a Free Trade Agreement is negotiated, so businesses should act now to ensure they are ready for the end of the transition period.”

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