As you must be aware that from the 29th March 2019, the UK will no longer be a member of the EU - a situation which is termed as Brexit. Currently, there is no clarity on whereas UK will be able to leave with or without a deal from the EU.
Here we are bringing you a number of important steps that you need to undertake to keep your imports running without any disruption – post the exit date.
First and foremost - Register for an EORI number
You can start by registering for a UK Economic Operator Registration and identification or EORI number. This will be a unique registration and identification number for your business. Good thing is that it’s free and only takes a few minutes to register. However, if you were already trading with non EU countries till now, then you should already have an EORI number and there is need for you to register again.
Next is to find the commodity code for the goods you import
As a second step, now you have to find the commodity code of your goods. This will help in classifying and declaring what you’re importing so that you can pay the right amount of duty and import VAT, and it becomes easy for you to determine if you qualify for any reliefs. In addition, the commodity code helps to check if you need a licence for specific goods that you import. You will be to find commodity codes under Trade Tariff on GOV.UK as soon as they become available.
Now, it’s time to determine the value of your goods
To understand how much duty and import VAT applies on goods you have to determine the value of the goods you’re importing. There are many ways to attain this, but the easiest one is the transaction value. In simple terms, it is the price paid by the buyer to the seller when the goods are sold for export to the UK.
Beware, do check the goods you are importing are not restricted in the UK
It is imperative to check if the goods you are importing are not restricted and illegal in the UK. Many a times, various goods need special licences for them to be imported, which may include plants, animals and medicines. You must keep in mind that the operator of the vehicle transporting the goods need to complete a safety and security declaration before the goods arrive inside the UK borders.
Check if you are eligible for facilitations
You can visit the GOV.UK to check if you eligible to use facilitations. There are special processes available to businesses that trade meeting certain necessary obligations.
Check if you’ve got the right Customs Procedure Code
Every import needs to be declared and to identify why goods are being imported and how they are categorised; you have to get the right Customs Procedure Code or CPC. For this you can visit GOV.UK
Declare your imports
Use a customs agent, an express courier or a freight forwarder to ensure that you are declaring imports correctly, which is mandatory. These agents can help arrange customs clearance and fill out forms the right way. You can make your own customs declaration by purchasing software to help you do this.
Pay duty and import VAT
You have to pay the duty and import VAT due on your imports and keep records of all the imported goods you’re trading. Also, several goods fall under the purview of and may be liable to Excise Duty. Please check GOV.UK for more details.
At last, always keep records of your imports
Keeping records is always beneficial. It can help you when you’re dealing with the authorities. So, for your tax purposes you should keep all relevant documents for a period six years.
For the benefits of the traders and to make it easier to import, HMRC is streamlining some of these steps by introducing Transitional Simplified Procedures or TSP. You can always visit GOV.UK to find anything related to TSP or if you are looking for more information.
We hope that this article has helped you to get ready to face uncertainties in No Deal Brexit scenario. We will be bringing you more such articles in the future to keep you updated regarding the status of the UK exit from the EU.