Preparing For Brexit – Importers & Exporters
Whatever your political allegiance and opinion of Brexit may be, most people agree that politicians from all sides have let us down.
The uncertainty presented by the Brexit position is inevitably having a negative impact and it is a huge issue over which we have no control.
We have tried to summarise the position as it stands. However, this is not the answer!
The Current Position – Which Is Subject to Change No Doubt But
At the moment the UK will leave the EU on 31 October 2019. Obviously there are moves to prevent this happening but there are still a number of hoops to jump through.
If we assume that there is no agreement put in place to keep the UK within the customs union, import and export procedures will change from 1 November 2019.
HMRC believe that all businesses that export to or import from EU countries will need an Economic Operation Registration Identification (EORI) number, issued by the UK.
What is an EORI number?
The EORI number is 12 digits long and if the business is VAT registered the EORI number will incorporate its VAT registration number.
EORI numbers issued to UK-based businesses start with “GB”.
HMRC is automatically allocating EORI numbers to 88,000 VAT registered traders which it knows have traded with the EU in the past but do not already have an EORI number.
HMRC are sending these traders letters with their unique EORI number.
Will an EORI number work?
Only EU member nations can issue EORI numbers. The UK can currently issue EORI numbers because the UK is an EU member nation. If the UK ceases to be an EU member nation, the UK-issued EORI number is potentially invalid.
If you manage to clear customs, UK businesses will have to pay VAT on any goods imported from the EU into the UK.
A trader can register for transitional simplified procedures, which is an additional process to the EORI number.
There may also be tariffs.
There is still a lot to understand about importing and exporting post-Brexit. We will try to keep you updated. Hopefully, more will become clear over the next few days.