ICAEW - Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales

Businesses urged to prepare for post-Brexit Customs Declarations

HMRC is urging VAT-registered UK businesses which trade exclusively with the EU to be prepared for a no deal Brexit.

In a letter sent to 145,000 affected businesses, HMRC explains changes to Customs, Excise and VAT procedures in the 'unlikely event' that the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal.

HMRC's letter advises businesses to take three actions ahead of 'Brexit Day' on 29 March 2019:

  • Register for a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
  • Decide whether a customs agent will be used to make import and/or export declarations, or whether declarations will be made by the business via software.
  • Contact the organisation responsible for moving goods (for example, the haulage firm) in order to ascertain whether the business will need to supply additional information to complete safety and security declarations, or whether it will need to submit these declarations itself.

A report jointly published by HMRC and the National Audit Office (NAO) recently revealed that approximately 55 million customs declarations are currently made by British businesses every year. This figure may rise to 255 million when the UK leaves the EU.

HMRC intends to write to businesses in the future in order to instruct them on any additional actions they will need to take, and when. We will keep you informed of developments.

Internet links: GOV.UK publications HMRC letter NAO report

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