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Brexit Transition: Here’s what you need to know

Brexit transition - what you need to know- min

From the 1st of January 2021, there will be new rules and regulations for businesses operating within the UK. Brexit is when the UK will have officially left the EU and its regulations so there are a few things you need to do to prepare your business before then.

To get a personalised list of actions, check your status here.

Declaring your goods

If your business currently trades with any EU countries and you are VAT registered in the UK, in order to continue trading in the EU after January 1st, there are a few things you need to do.

Who needs to declare from January 1st?

If you import or export goods to and from the EU that are on the controlled goods list you’ll need to make your declarations from 1st January 2021. These rules currently apply to exporting goods to the rest of the world, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. If you choose to not delay these declarations or you’re unable to, you’ll need to begin making full import declarations from 1st January 2021. You can find more information at www.gov.uk/import-goods-outside-eu

Check the rules for your type of goods

You may need to get a license or certificate to import some types of goods into the UK. You may also need to pay an inspection fee for some goods before they’re allowed to be imported into the UK. You can find more information on which types of goods will need either a license or certificate and if you’ll need to pay any fees here.

Delaying your declarations and duty payments

If the goods you import from the EU into the UK are not on the controlled goods list and you don’t have a poor compliance record, you’ll have the option to defer declarations for up to 6 months, but you will need to make a declaration in your records to do so. However, the details of these declarations will still need to be submitted to HMRC.

You can find details at www.gov.uk/hmrc/delay-import-declarations.

Moving goods between NI and the UK

If you’re selling products and shipping them between the UK and Northern Ireland you’ll need to seek guidance from the Trader Support Service on what the protocol will be from the 1st of January 2021. 

Get an EORI number

From January 1st 2021 you will need an EORI number to move goods between the UK and the EU. You may also need one if you’re moving goods between the UK and NI. Without this EORI number, you may incur increased costs and delays, for example, if HMRC can’t clear your goods you may have to pay storage fees.

You can apply for an EORI number here.

You won’t however, need an EORI number if you:

  • Provide services
  • Move goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland

Your EORI number needs to begin with ‘GB’ from January 1st 2021. You should apply for a new one if yours doesn’t start with ‘GB’.

To apply you need your:

  • VAT number and effective date of registration – these are on your VAT registration certificate
  • National Insurance number – if you’re an individual or a sole trader
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • Business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code – these are in the Companies House register
  • Government Gateway user ID and password

Tax and duty

You will need to pay customs duties on most imports from the 1st of January 2021. You can check the UK Global Tariff that will apply to goods you import here. To use the service you will need either the commodity code or description of your product.

You may also want to check the rate of VAT you will pay on your goods. The standard rate is 20% for most goods whilst some goods may have a reduced rate.
For more information on preparing to import goods from the EU to the UK read the government guidance here.

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