ALL VAT-registered businesses in the country that trade with the EU are getting letters from HMRC telling them what they need to do to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period at the end of the year.
The letters explain what actions they should take to prepare for the movement of goods between the UK and the EU from January 1, 2021.
That includes making sure they have a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
Companies must also decide how they will make customs declarations and they need to check if their imported goods are eligible for staged import controls.
From January 1 controls will be placed on the movement of goods between the EU and Great Britain.
The letter points out that that new border controls on imports from the EU to GB will be introduced in stages, and customs declarations for goods which are not controlled can be delayed until June 30, 2021.
From January 1 businesses will have to submit declarations when importing and exporting goods that are categorised as ‘controlled’.
Import processes for non-controlled goods will be introduced in three stages: January, April and July.
HMRC says that businesses should already have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
They will need this to complete customs declarations. If they do not yet have one, they can register for free at www.gov.uk/eori
When it comes to customs declarations, HMRC says customs agents, freight forwarders and express operators can help and can ensure businesses are providing the necessary information. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/appoint-someone-to-deal-with-customs-on-your-behalf
Most traders with a good compliance record will be able to defer import declarations on most goods for up to six months after January 1.For more information, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/using-simplified-declarations-for-imports
Also, from January 1, businesses will be able to use postponed VAT accounting to account for import VAT on their VAT return for goods imported from anywhere in the world.
For more information, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/check-when-you-can-account-for-import-vat-on-your-vat-return
Import VAT will not be due at the border if goods in a consignment do not exceed £135 in value. The only exceptions will be excise goods and gifts. For more information, go to www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-vat-treatment-of-overseas-goods-sold-to-customersfrom-1-january-2021
Business can also Check the Controlled goods list to see if they need to complete declarations from January.
If their goods are not on the list, they can choose to delay import declarations until July 2021.
To check if your imported goods are on the controlled goods list, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/list-of-goods-imported-into-great-britain-from-the-eu-that-are-controlled
From January 1 there will be new rates of customs duty for imports – called the UK Global Tariff. To check the tariffs that will apply to goods you import, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-tariffs-from-1-january-2021
If a business is moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or bringing goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK, the free Trader Support Service (TSS) will handle the new processes arising under the Northern Ireland Protocol.
To register your interest in using this service, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/trader-support-service
HMRC says Further information about movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be available soon. TSS is not available for goods moved between GB and the EU.
To keep up to date with the latest EU Transition information go to www.gov.uk/hmrc/business-support and select ‘Sign up to help and support emails from HMRC’.