Brexit preparations – HMRC accelerates efforts

This week the Chancellor announced that HMRC will be increasing efforts to support UK businesses for the post-Brexit trading environment.

In order to continue to be able to trade after the UK leaves the EU, all UK VAT registered businesses will require a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. Without one traders or representatives will be unable to import or export goods.

An EORI is needed to trade goods into (or out of) the UK and to apply to be authorised for customs simplifications, traders who import goods to the UK and export goods from the EU will need both a UK EORI and an EU EORI numbers.

HMRC have announced that within the next two weeks, more than 88,000 VAT registered companies across the UK will be automatically allocated an EORI number. This provides some level of preparation for companies in order to keep trading with customers and suppliers in the EU after the UK has left.

The initiative is part of accelerated Brexit preparations under the new government, designed to try and ensure that the trade and transit of goods remains as smooth as possible.

A UK issued EORI number is an essential requirement for UK businesses once the UK leaves the EU. An EORI allows for the following:

  • For importers or their representatives – To submit the relevant import declaration to the HMRC Systems – CHIEF and CDS
  • For hauliers or haulage companies – To complete Entry Summary Declarations for imports coming into the UK.
  • For ferry operators to submit Entry Summary Declarations in ICS for unaccompanied imports.

This week the EU have also confirmed guidance relating to no-deal preparation which remains unchanged from March 2019.

Traders from non-EU countries must have an EU EORI number in order to trade with EU member states. In the case of a no deal Brexit, UK businesses who wanted to trade with EU will also need an EORI number in addition to the UK EORI number they have acquired.

UK businesses can obtain EU EORI numbers from an EU member state where they first import or export goods.

If a UK business is not directly interacting with EU customs authorities for example if they are using a haulier or customs agent, then they do not need an EU EORI. In this instance, they would only require a UK EORI to move the goods through UK customs.

There are a number of actions ADS members should continue to take in order to prepare for a No Deal Brexit, which are detailed on our Brexit hub.