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Businesses fail to prepare for No Deal Brexit, says Customs

[ March 4, 2019   //   ]

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning that many traders have failed to take steps that will enable them to continue trading after a No Deal Brexit.
In guidance to business on how to prepare, published on 28 February, it is urging companies to register for an Economic Operator and Registration Identification (EORI) number, pointing out that those that have only ever traded inside the EU will not have one. In the event of a no deal exit, businesses will be unable to continue trading with the EU without an EORI number but HMRC says that only 17% of these businesses have registered.
Since September 2018, HMRC has written directly to 145,000 VAT-registered businesses that only trade with the EU advising them to start their preparations and apply for an EORI number, with a further estimated 95,000 non-VAT registered businesses that also need to take action. Despite these letters, only 40,973 have registered for an EORI number since October.
After getting an EORI number, businesses need to take the second step and consider how they want to make customs declarations. Businesses can appoint a customs agent if they want someone else to do it, suggesting that most will choose to do so.
Businesses that import goods into the UK from the EU using ro ro ports can register for the new Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) which will allow businesses to import without having to make a full customs declaration at the border, and postpone paying any import duties. For imports using other locations, and for exports, standard customs declarations will apply.
HMRC adds that some £3 million of the £8 million in funding available for traders and intermediaries to support training and IT costs remains available.

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