Leaving the EU may feel incredibly daunting, especially if your business has never traded outside of the European Union before. There are a lot of changes to adjust to and it can be worrying to think about wrapping your head around it all in time for the end of the transition period on the 1st January 2021.
You may already be aware that once the transition period ends, regardless of the final divorce agreement, you will need to make customs declarations and safety and security declarations in order to transport goods between the UK and the EU. This isn’t the only major change you will experience.
Whether you are importing or exporting goods you will need an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number. This is used to register and identify companies that import and export goods into or out of the EU.
If you don’t get an EORI number you will be likely to face delays and increased costs.
You may already have an EORI number, however, if it does not begin with GB it will not be valid from the 1st January 2021 and you will need to apply for a new one in order to continue trading.
It can take around five working days for you to receive one, so it is important to get organised and apply for your EORI number before you need it.
From the 1st January 2021 you may need to get an import licence to import certain types of goods into the UK and it is possible that you may also be asked to pay for an inspection fee. You can find out more on the Government website.
As aforementioned, you will need to submit customs declarations from 1st January 2021, you will also need to pay customs duties and VAT on imports. The WTO (World Trade Organisation) will set the rates on customs duties when we leave the EU, unless we have a trade agreement with the country that is being traded with. Check the trade tariffs commencing at the end of the transition period.
You may be able to submit customs declarations at a later date, in order to speed up the process, by making a supplementary declaration within six months. To do this you will need to have a duty deferment account, which you will use for paying import duties and VAT. Duty deferment accounts can take up-to ninety days to process and therefore need to be applied for a significant amount of time in advance. This is incredibly important. You will also need a deferment account to take advantage of CFSP (customs freight simplified procedures) too. See our article on deferment accounts and CFSP.
From the 1st January 2021 you may be required to carry an export certificate or license in order to take certain goods out of the UK. You can find out more about which goods will require licences and certificates on the Government website.
You may be eligible for zero rated VAT. This is something that you will need to know prior to exporting goods on the 1st January 2021. You can find out more on this topic on the Government website.
There is currently a government grant available that will allow some businesses to have the entirety of their packaged customs clearance software paid for. Check your eligibility now!
There is still a lot to prepare for, make sure that you are ready for all of the changes to help smooth the process.
CustomsLink can help simplify the whole process and help you manage your customs declarations with ease. Don’t be late! There is still a lot to get ready for!