7 Jan 2021
The transition period has ended and new rules are here. Act now to keep your business moving.
The transition period has ended and the UK has left the EU customs union and single market and now enjoys a zero tariffs, zero quotas relationship with the EU as an independent trading nation.
Following the signing of the UK – EU Free Trade Agreement, there are new rules for businesses which came into force on 1 January 2021 which require immediate action. Your business needs to act now to comply with these new rules. If you do not take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted.
These documents cover actions that businesses must take to ensure they are compliant with the new rules which have come into force. Part A provides an overview of key actions for businesses as well as supporting guidance, helpline numbers and FAQs. Part B lists the top five actions for businesses in each of the following sectors: Aerospace, automotive, chemicals, construction, consumer goods, electronics and machinery, life sciences, metals and materials, professional business services and retail.
You should visit gov.uk/transition where you can use the checker tool to quickly identify the actions that your business needs to take. The checker tool will ask you questions about your business and provide all the information you need to be aware of such as new rules on:
· Importing and Exporting · Moving goods to and from Northern Ireland including Trader Support Service · Travelling abroad for work · Hiring staff from the EU
You can help prepare your businesses for the new rules by using a number of support mechanisms provided by the Government:
● Sign up to receive updates on the specific actions you need to take once you’ve used the checker tool at gov.uk/transition
● Sign up to receive the regular Business Readiness Transition Bulletin – an email newsletter providing information on major announcements and recently published guidance
● BEIS Webinars across a range of topics will be available on gov.uk in January 2021. They will provide specific advice on how businesses can ensure they comply with the new rules.
We understand that this is a challenging time and encourage you to take action to avoid interruption to your business operations
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
What is an EORI number, and why do I need one?
You must have an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number that starts with GB if you wish to move goods between Great Britain or the Isle of Man, and other countries. Without it you will not be able to complete your customs declarations and you may experience increased costs and delays.
You will also need a separate EORI number that starts with XI if you:
- move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries (including Great Britain)
- make a declaration in Northern Ireland
- get a customs decision in Northern Ireland.
To get an EORI number that starts with XI, you must already have an EORI number that starts with GB.
An EORI number consists of two parts, the country code followed by a unique code or number. If you already have an EORI number and it does not start with GB you will need to apply for a new one.
If you don’t have an EORI number that starts with GB or XI for Northern Ireland, you can register for free on GOV.UK. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply and you will normally receive it in under a week.
How do I classify my goods, and how do I prove their origin?
We recommend that you hire a customs intermediary to help you ensure your goods are classified correctly. This is because if you do not classify your goods correctly or if you do not accurately record the origin of the goods in your customs declaration, you may be charged the wrong amount of tax or duty.
However, if you choose not to hire an intermediary, you will need to do this yourself. To help you make your decision, read the guidance on GOV.UK.
I’ve heard that I can delay my customs declarations, how do I do that?
If you import goods from the EU into Great Britain that are not on the controlled goods list, and they are moving from EU free circulation to GB free circulation, you may be able to delay import declarations for up to 175 days after import.
You can do this by making a record of the imported goods in your commercial records at the time of import and you don’t need to get authorisation in advance. You will need to send HMRC full information about your goods in a supplementary declaration within 175 days of your goods arriving in Great Britain. You must get authorisation from HMRC before you submit supplementary declarations and we recommend that you apply for this as soon as possible. You can find more information about delaying import declarations on GOV.UK.
If you decide to get someone else to deal with your customs declarations for you, they’ll be able to do this for you using their own authorisation.
You must still apply and be authorised for a duty deferment account to pay any duties owed on goods by monthly direct debit, even if your goods do not attract customs or excise duty. You need to have set this up before you complete your supplementary declaration. Even if you choose to use a customs intermediary, they may ask you to get your own duty deferment account.
We hope that you’ve found these answers to our most frequent enquiries from businesses useful. If you need more support, act now and:
- attend one of our live webinars or watch one of our short films about importing and exporting
- use the transition checker on GOV.UK to understand HMRC processes for importing, exporting or customs relief and keep your business moving
- call the Customs & International Trade Helpline and speak to an advisor on 0300 322 9434
- register for the free Trader Support Service if you’re moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.