There are just 69 days until the end of Brexit, or rather the end of the Transition period which runs out on the 31st of December 2020 following the UK’s departure from the EU on the 31st of January 2020. This date was delayed from the orignal 29th of March 2019 after three extensions and yet we still don’t know what the final terms of our trading agreement with the EU will be from the 1st of January 2021.
What we do know is that the transition agreement will come to an end and either there will be a long term trade deal or there won’t. The UK’s Prime Minister announced recently that time had run out on the 15th of October and the country must prepare for a no deal scenario and that was immediately followed by the EU rushing back to the closed negotiations saying that a deal was still possible and that they were ready to compromise on legal texts – your guess is as good as anyone’s on what might happen before the end of the year.
However, having left the EU we’ve enjoyed a few months of normal trading with the EU as if we were still members under the transition agreement and that is about to come to an abrupt halt by the 1st of January 2021. There are some steps all retailers should be taking and these are actions you will need to do regardless of whether there is a long term trade deal with the EU or not.
End of Brexit: Things you need to do #1
Over the next few weeks, in partnership with GFS, we are going to bring you some bite sized actions you need to take, each of which will only take a short amount of time to complete. The first of the things you need to do is to get an EORI number:
You will need an EORI number (European Union registration and identification) to move goods in or out of the EU after Brexit. If you do not have one, your shipments could get stuck at customs which will incur additional costs and delays.
UK EORI Number
“You need an EORI number to move goods between the UK and non-EU countries. If you do not have one, you may have increased costs and delays. For example, if HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cannot clear your goods you may have to pay storage fees.”
You can apply for an EORI number online and it takes 5-10 minutes to apply but can take up to a week to be issued.
Apply for your EORI number at: https://www.gov.uk/eori
EU EORI number
If you are clearing customs into or out of any EU member state, you will only need an EU EORI number. If you are clearing customs into or out of the UK, you will only need a UK EORI number.
“You’ll need an EU EORI number if your business will be making customs declarations or getting a customs decision in the EU. Get this from the customs authority in the EU country where you submit your first declaration or request your first decision.”
I applied for an EORI number yet again recently. When I had tried before, the HMRC system failed to allow for sole traders. I tried several times over many months. There was still the same problem.
Thanks to UPS, I was prompted again and have applied. The new HMRC system for EORI applications did accept sole traders this time.
What should be a simple process has been turned into a difficult process – not because of businesses, but because HMRC haven’t tested or commissioned their systems properly. This is not unusual for HMRC, as anyone who has used Self Assessment will attest to!
Government should FACILITATE business, not get in its way with rubbish systems. Brexit will be challenging enough, as it is, for importers and exporters.
I hope business colleagues will not suffer the same problems, but I fear that they will.
To newbie importers. The below happened to us two years ago and I doubt much has changed so here you go – a little tip:
1) you have eori and business as usual…
2) your business needs vat number so you apply for one…
3) you will need to apply for eori *again* (after vat) so it can be linked with vat and all imports go through HMRC smoothly and you then receive c79 on monthly basis
4) pay your taxes now hahahaha
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