The UK’s membership to the EU is set to expire on 29th March 2019. With this in mind, it’s not been entirely clear how leaving the EU will affect UK businesses.

However, HMRC have now released some information on how your business can get prepared for the UK leaving the EU.

What do I need to know? 

HMRC have designed a tool that will give you guidance, that is specific to your business, including;

  1. What your business can do to prepare for the UK leaving the EU
  2. What’s changing in your industry
  3. Information on specific rules and regulations.

To access this information you will need to have the answers to the following 7 questions to hand:

  1. What does your business do?
  2. Do you sell goods in the UK, import or do business abroad?
  3. Do you employ anyone from another European country?
  4. Does your business exchange personal data with another in Europe?
  5. Does your business use or rely on intellectual property (IP) protection?
  6. Does your business get EU or UK government funding?
  7. Does your business sell to the public sector?

Click here to answer these questions and find out how your business will be affected by leaving the UK.

What do I need to do? 

Here is a checklist of things that you can do to prepare your business for the inevitable:

Get an EORI number.

This means –  yes, you guessed it… “Economic Operator Registration Identification”.

UK businesses trading with the EU will need a UK EORI number to continue trading in the event that the UK exits the EU without a deal. You can find out more info and register for an EORI number, here. 

Check if you can use ‘transitional simplified procedures’.

You can register for simplified import procedures if the UK leaves the UK without a deal. This means you can reduce the amount of information you need to give in an import declaration when the goods are crossing the border. You’ll need an EORI number to apply for this.

Get software or an agent to make your export declarations.

HMRC have a list of providers here on their website, where you can submit notice 275.

Check if you need a license to import or export your goods.

Research the destinations you want to export to and classify your goods using commodity codes.

Apply the right customs procedure

You can identify the customs or excise processes that you may want to use (depending on what your business does)

Eg:  If you’re importing goods into a customs-approved warehouse you can suspend payment of duty and VAT until they’re sent to a UK customer from the warehouse.

If you use a UK roll on roll off location, for example, where a lorry or van travels through using a ferry or train, then you will need to declare your goods before they board the ferry or train.

Find out more about this one here. Remember when importing, to make a safety and security declaration before the goods arrive in the UK

Pay Customs Duty on goods.

Don’t forget to pay duty on your goods.

What if I employ someone from the EU? 

A lot of people are concerned about what will happen to people who live and work in the UK, that are from the EU.

The government has indicated that these people will be able to carry on living and working in the UK with a new “settled status” under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Government has also promised to preserve employment protection after we leave the EU, but it looks likely that this will be revisited.

What if I import or export goods from the EU? 

In the event that the UK exits the EU without a deal, from 11.00pm GMT on 29 March 2019, many UK businesses will need to apply the same processes to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.

You need an EORI (see above)

Before you import or export any goods, check if they’re restricted goods.

You will always need a license to import or export:

  • military and paramilitary goods
  • dual-use and technology
  • artworks
  • plants and animals
  • medicines and chemicals

If you’re still unsure about how to get your business ready for leaving the EU, then please do get in touch.

Click to call us 01326 660022