Importing: How has leaving the EU affected goods coming into the UK from the EU?
From the 1 January 2021, importers now need to complete customs declaration either by themselves or through an intermediary. There are also additional VAT requirements, customs duty, and an increase in administration costs.
However, declarations can be deferred for up to six months on all imports of standard goods until July 2021, as per the three-phase plan for introducing import controls.
• As new customs borders come into force, we may see a delay in goods arriving from the EU into the UK.
• How do you declare goods, and do you need to appoint an intermediary to complete declarations on your behalf?
• Have you checked the new rules for your goods, such as licences, certificates, labelling and marketing standards?
• Have you discussed logistic plans with your suppliers and hauliers?
• Does the business need to consider its stock holdings to cover potential delays in importing, taking into account warehousing and logistical issues?
• Is there an alternative UK supplier that can provide the goods that you need, to prevent possible delays?
• How will increased stock holdings impact on your cash flow? Do you need to consider contingency finance?
• Does increasing or decreasing stock holdings have an impact on your finance arrangements?
• Has the business registered for an EORI number (Export Operators Registration and Identification number) or has it been issued one by HMRC?
• Do supply contracts need to be reviewed?
• What changes have been made on the VAT reporting process?
• You need to make different arrangements when moving goods through Northern Ireland?
Importing Step by Step guide
Check the new rules for your type of goods
Check the rate of tax and duty you’ll need to pay
In some instances, you can record goods and defer the declaration for 6 months.
Check the UK Global Tariff that will apply to goods you import from 1 January 2021.
Ensure the EU exporter has all the information they need (their EORI number, export declaration in their country’s system and any additional licences and certification). This will depend on the Incoterms used.
Submit or ensure your intermediary has submitted INTRASTAT declarations if applicable.
Further information here:
Review of contractual agreements needs to be through your commercial solicitor
Review of your financial undertakings should be discussed with your accountant or financial advisor
Looking at strategies around protecting the business from currency fluctuations should be discussed with your foreign exchange provider or bank
Exporting: How has leaving the EU affected goods you export from the UK into the EU?
Exporters need to complete customs declarations for all goods.
Register for an EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification number) if you don’t already have one starting with GB.
Make sure you have the correct commodity codes and CPC codes for the goods your business is exporting
You should consider using an intermediary to support you in the new export processes and if needed, make use of customs agents and parcel operators.
If not using a partner are you aware of the additional customs requirements? And the grants available for customs declarations support?
Do your goods need additional certification or licenses (for example, for exporting livestock, food, chemicals or alcohol)
Have you checked the new VAT requirements?
Do your commercial invoices meet the export documentation requirements?
Will you need to change your rules of origin information for your product?
Does the IMPORTER know the tax and duty applied to the consignment, and that they are liable for those charges?
Make sure your logistic partners keep you updated on these changes
Due to the new customs borders coming into force, there may be delays in goods arriving with your customers. This is the time to discuss supply chain planning with your customers.
Your customers may need to consider an increase in stock holdings to compensate for any border delays.
If you are transporting the goods, rather than a transport partner, do you need to complete further processes? Does the driver possess any extra documentation or licence needed?
You should be reviewing your supply contracts now.
We would advise you to contact your bank if any guarantees or covenants are affected by EU Transition in order to gain their agreement to make the necessary changes
You may need to make different arrangements when moving goods into or through Northern Ireland depending on the current regulations.
The EU is now a separate jurisdiction, meaning credit risks could increase. Mitigation strategies may need to be considered, such as,
changing Incoterms to place financial responsibility of shipment, documentation and duty payments on the customer where possible and
consideration of Export Insurance/discussions with UKEF.
Find out how to declare goods from 1 January 2021 and check the new rules for your type of goods.
Get someone to deal with customs for you
Find out how to make customs declarations yourself
Check the rules for exporting some types of goods.
Find out if you can charge VAT at 0%
If you wish to complete declarations yourself, there will be additional steps you will need to complete:
- Get specialist training to use the National Export System (NES) and consider if you need to buy specialist software to support you
- Apply for a CHIEF badge
- Make an export declaration on NES
- Ensure the EU importer (the ‘declarant’) has done everything they need to do – attained their EORI number, completed an import declaration in their country’s system and any additional licences and certification. This will depend on the Incoterms used.
Review of contractual agreements needs to be through your commercial solicitor.
Exporting: How can I remain competitive in the EU market now we've left the EU?
If you have customers in the EU, now is the time to open a dialogue about how your goods and services will fit with their plans for the future.
- Could your company be replaced by an EU supplier, and if so, how do you plan to compete?
• Are your competitors in a weaker or stronger position than your business?
• Does your business have a resilience plan?
• Is this the time to revisit and reforecast the business plan?
- Have you fully costed the implications of VAT, customs, import costs and other administrative impacts associated with EU Transition?
- Have you explored opportunities in new markets?
- Is now the time to explore product or service diversification?
- You may want to change your Incoterms in order to be more competitive going forward
- You will need to manage the time needed to comply with any regulation changes and inform your EU customers accordingly.
- There may be currency fluctuations caused by trading uncertainty. Can you create a financial contingency plan to compensate for the possible fluctuations?
- Has your business considered speaking with your bank about spot rates & currency hedging to assist with the financial planning and costing?
Review of contractual agreements needs to be through your commercial solicitor.
Exporting: Will my EU customers still want to buy from my business now we've left the EU?
There may be elements of trade protectionism from both the EU and UK markets.
• This may be the time to scope out your EU stakeholders and get their view of how they view UK suppliers and products.
• Are they happy to accept UK quality standards?
• Will product testing standards need to be considered?
• What licencing and EU approvals will your sector need? Will they be different to the compliance you already adhere to?
• If there are changes to your compliance, how long will it take to comply with any regulation changes and how will this affect you supplying your EU customers?
• Do you need to consider changes to your labelling or instructions?
Workforce: Do you employ, or plan to employ, migrant workers and how will they be affected after the transition?
The Government has published further guidance on the Points Based Immigration System which will operate from January 2021, under which all EU and non-EU citizens will be treated equally.
- Have you assessed whether you need to obtain a sponsor licence to continue recruiting skilled workers in 2021?
- Do your non-UK EU citizen employees know where to register as an EU citizen working in the UK under the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme?
- Have you got a communications plan in place to keep all of your workforce up-to-date on changes in employment regulation?
- Do you know how many EU workers you employ and are their roles critical to the success of the business?
- Have you considered your future workforce needs to see whether any of the roles you employ may not qualify for sponsorship?
- You may have to consider issues such as automation, accessing skills from other geographical areas and engaging with apprenticeships, to address the long-term needs of your business.