Brexit Changes for Business
There are new rules for businesses and citizens from 1 January 2021. Read Anna’s advice and guidance below to ensure your business is compliant with the new legislation.
HMRC Webinar - Completing Customs Import Declarations
During the webinar, we’ll provide a run-through of the key new processes – import declarations, simplified declarations, supplementary declarations, preparing to make them, making import declarations without authorisation, and delayed import declarations.
You can also ask questions using the on-screen text box.
HMRC have a series of short videos on HMRC’s YouTube channel to introduce you to importing and exporting processes. You may find it helpful to watch these before attending the webinar.
Brexit Changes For Business And Where To Find Help
Call Customs & International Trade helpline on 0300 322 9434, for more help with importing, exporting or customs reliefs. The helpline is open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm at weekends. You can also use HMRC webchat service: Imports and exports: webchat (tax.service.gov.uk)
Employer Bulletin – UK Transition
Following the UK’s exit from Europe on 31 December 2020, HMRC have published a UK Transition edition of the Employer Bulletin.
This contains a roundup of information and support previously published to continue supporting you. In this edition, you can find out about the new rules for trading with Europe, business travellers, social security coordination.
A Free Brexit App
Ernst and Young have launched a free Brexit app to educate businesses about government notices, regulatory updates and guidance, as well as providing updates with key developments.
The app is designed to quickly inform businesses about how Britain’s exit from the European Union will affect them. The app will also provide direct links to the Brexit webpages of key UK trade bodies, such as the British Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Federation of Small Businesses.
EU VAT Registrations
You might need to register for VAT in EU countries where you have customers.
In some EU countries where you register for VAT, you also need a VAT representative (someone local who’ll be responsible for following the VAT rules) in the country you’re exporting to.
VAT Refunds From EU Countries
Currently, where you pay VAT on goods and services while visiting an EU country, e.g. a hotel bill, you can reclaim it via HMRC’s EU refund portal.
This service will close on 31 March 2021 for VAT incurred on or after 1 January 2021.
With effect from 1 January 2021, new requirements will come into force on the UK borders. Currently, declarations are required when cash of €10,000 or more is brought into the UK from any country outside the EU or taken out of the UK to any country outside of the EU. These requirements will continue to apply in Northern Ireland. From 1 January, declarations will be required when cash of £10,000 or more is brought into or taken out of Great Britain from any country including European countries.
Selling Digital Services To EU Consumers
If you sell digital products, e.g. books or software, to customers in the EU you’ve probably used the UK VAT mini one-stop shop (MOSS) to account for VAT.
If so, you’ll be deregistered from UK MOSS from 1 January 2021.
You may instead be able to register for MOSS in an EU country.
Northern Ireland (NI)
NI will continue to follow EU VAT rules (for goods) but will remain as part of the UK for other VAT purposes. For VAT information on what steps you need to take in transactions with NI, visit the Gov Website and or for specific information on moving goods into, out of or through NI, click here. The Trader Support Service also provides useful guidance about the new NI customs rules.
Exporting: what you need to do to keep your goods moving: An overview of the actions to take now when exporting goods from Great Britain to the EU and moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Key processes include – zero-rated VAT, customs declarations, using an intermediary as well as licences, certificates, and authorisations.
Please register to take part if your business is planning to export.
Trader responsibilities when using an intermediary: This webinar explains your responsibilities as a trader, if you choose to use an intermediary to complete import or export declarations for your business. These are complex and an intermediary can save you a lot of time.
Please register to take part if you are planning to import or export.
What are customs import declarations?: If your business imports goods, you’ll need to make customs import declarations on controlled goods and all goods by the end of June 2021. HMRC webinar helps you to understand more about them, including what’s needed for simplified declarations, supplementary declarations, and delayed import declarations.
Please register to take part if your business is planning to import.
Importing: What you need to know about Staged Controls: This webinar takes you through the three stages of the new border controls introduced on 1 January 2021, and what actions your business needs to take for each stage.
Please register to take part if your business is planning to import.
- Obtaining an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, which will be required when trading with the EU post-Brexit. It is free to obtain an EORI number and you can do so by visiting https://www.gov.uk/eori.
- Deciding whether to use an agent freight forwarder to help with making customs declarations. The following guidance outlines the services they can provide: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/appoint-someone-to-deal-with-customs-on-your-behalf
- If you buy goods from the EU, checking whether those goods are ‘controlled’. Ascertaining which declarations are required and when they will need to be made. For more information please see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/list-of-goods-imported-into-great-britain-from-the-eu-that-are-controlled.
- Checking the UK Global tariff to see the rate of Customs Duty that is likely to apply to the goods you import: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-tariffs-from-1-january-2021.
- Deciding whether to use the Postponed Accounting system (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-when-you-can-account-for-import-vat-on-your-vat-return) to defer import VAT and familiarising yourself with the procedure for declaring the deferred import VAT on the VAT return.
As the UK leaves the EU’s VAT regime, details of UK VAT numbers will no longer be maintained under the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES).
This means you will no longer be able to check whether a UK VAT number is valid using the VIES tool.
HMRC has just published a new tool which will allow you to check a UK VAT number in the same way as the VIES tool.
This will be updated in real-time, and will also show the name and address of the business associated with the VAT number.
You can find the new tool here.
There are now special rules for merchandise baggage, i.e. goods you intend to sell or use in your business, which you personally bring into the UK from abroad.
The special rules apply to goods that you accompany and are: included in your baggage, or in a vehicle that can carry up to nine people and weighs 3.5 tonnes or less.
All goods must be declared (except where you bring them from Northern Ireland) to HMRC as there’s no duty-free allowance for commercial goods.
If the goods meet the criteria, e.g. their value is £1,500 or less and they weigh no more than 1,000kg, you can use HMRC’s new simplified online declaration, otherwise, a full customs declaration is required.
You must make a declaration within five days prior to arriving in GB and pay any VAT and duties (if they apply).
This reduces admin but means you’ll have to pay VAT earlier than if you make a full declaration.
If your business moves goods between Great Britain and countries in the EU, you’ll need to follow new customs and tax rules.
HMRC has several ways to help you with these changes. You can:
- watch their videos on HMRC’s YouTube channel to familiarise yourself with the new customs processes and what you need to do before you trade goods with the EU
- attend their webinars to find out what you need to do now to adjust to the new rules and keep your business moving
- the trader checklist is also still available on GOV.UK to make sure you’re familiar with the new rules that affect your business – use HMRC updated guides to understand the new customs and VAT requirements when moving goods between Great Britain and EU countries
- there’s also a series of webinars and videos from other government departments to support you
- you can also sign up to their weekly email updates on ‘News and information about importing and exporting with the EU‘, which provide hints and tips for businesses like yours to get used to the new rules for importing and exporting.
HMRC has made changes to the Customs Grant Scheme to allow more people to access the funding and help ensure they are ready to trade with the EU after the transition period ends.
Customs intermediaries including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators, as well as traders who complete their own declarations, are among those who may benefit
Organisations can receive up to two million euros where they co-invest as well.
We are also now allowing traders who are new to customs to apply for grants of up to £1,000 per organisation to support the cost of basic customs training.
This will help traders understand what is involved in making customs declarations and can help them prepare for when they speak to an intermediary.
Another change HMRC has introduced to the Customs Grant Scheme is that businesses with Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status who have had a base in the UK for less than 12 months can also now access the grant scheme.
This will encourage new entrants to the intermediary market.
Grants will be issued on a first come, first served basis and applications will close on 30 June 2021, or earlier if all funding is allocated.
You must complete a declaration when entering or leaving the UK if you are carrying goods to sell or use by a business:
- with a value not exceeding £1,500 (€1,000 for Northern Ireland) and not weighing more than 1,000kg
- and not classed as excise or restricted goods. You can do this either by an on-line declaration at
Up to 5 days of arriving or leaving the UK or make declaration by going to the red channel or red phone point when going through customs.
For commercial goods exceeding £1,500 (€1,000 for Northern Ireland) in value or weighing more than 1,000kgs or if you are carrying excise or restricted goods you or your customs agent must make a full customs declaration.
Further information can be found Take cash in and out of the UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Currently you must pay VAT on goods you import when they enter the UK. HMRC will not release them before the VAT is paid. If you’re VAT registered you can then reclaim the VAT according to the usual rules.
To prevent a delay in getting the VAT back you will be able to use PVA.
This will allow you to declare the import VAT and reclaim it on the same VAT return.
For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/y3l2qk6a
For how you complete a VAT return with PVA, visit https://tinyurl.com/y2c45jzs
With effect from 1 January “low value consignment relief” which applies to imported goods with a value of £15 or less will be abolished.
Instead, VAT on imported goods valued at £135 or less must be accounted for when you sell them. For details, visit https://tinyurl.com/y4dzazuj
Currently, there are simplified rules for where you sell goods or services via digital, mail order, phone or text message to the EU.
From 1 January 2021, you may need to register for VAT in the EU countries to which you distance sell.
For information, visit https://tinyurl.com/yxb5obmf