DEAL OR NO DEAL – KEY PREPARATIONS FOR BREXIT Tuesday, 27 October 2020
With just over 60 days to go until the UK formally leaves the EU and negotiations apparently still underway there is a danger that UK-based importers and exporters simply wait for clarity and hit major delays at the start of 2021. But as the UK Government information campaigns are now flagging, there are some simple steps that UK traders can take now that will ‘oil the wheels’ to get goods in and out of the EU whether the UK secures a trading arrangement with the EU or not.
If you are already, or expect to be, a major shipper to or from the EU then you should be reviewing the reasonable depth of information that is now available on the UK Government website. Ad hoc or low volume traders may wish to get advice from specialist freight and shipping providers when they need to make a shipment, but all companies trading with the EU after 1st January 2021 will benefit from investigating the following areas:
- Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers – Businesses have always needed to have an EORI number to move goods between the UK and non-EU countries but after transition they will also be required for trade with EU countries. There is no cost to apply for one but, even though they are applied for online, it can take up to seven days from application before you can use your EORI so it makes sense to apply as soon as you can if you haven’t already got one. If you are a regular trader of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland then in addition to a ‘normal’ EORI you will require an XI EORI registration. This cannot be applied for as it is automatically sent to businesses identified by HMRC as needing one and they should be received during December 2020. Details are available here.
- National Export System – Regular traders with EU countries wishing to manage their own customs declarations will need to register for the National Export System to facilitate online declarations. This is likely to be onerous and complicated so traders may prefer to use a recognised freight carrier or forwarder.
- Commodity Codes – Goods sent abroad require a valid commodity or HS code to identify the duties payable and other shipping information and their use is common practise for shipments outside of the EU. Not having a code, or using the incorrect code, can cause delays and even result in fines and/or confiscation and destruction of the shipment! They are available via HMRC and will be essential when shipping to EU countries after transition, so why not identify the right ones for you today? Full details are available here.
- Customs Procedure Codes – Those businesses making their own customs declaration for either exports or imports will also require Customs Procedure Codes (CPC) to classify the nature of the goods movement eg when the items may be a temporarily imported before returning to the UK. Incorrect coding could result in incorrect duties being levied.
- Commercial Invoices – A commercial invoice has always been required for shipments that travel outside the EU and is used as a customs declaration from the person or business that is exporting the item(s). A complete and correct commercial invoice assists customs authorities assess potential taxes/duties.
Shipments to EU countries will require a full commercial invoice after 1st January 2021. There is specific information that is required in the document (such as the HS code) so get up to speed on creating commercial invoices now! Full details are available here.
If it all sounds too complicated or time-consuming there is a solution. All PACK & SEND service centres are familiar with international shipping regulations and are ready to help you or your business ensure that deliveries arrive safely and smoothly to the EU or anywhere else! You can easily obtain a quote for your requirements online or by calling us directly on 0345 873 999 0.