Brexit. Love it or hate it, we are fast moving towards new regulations and requirements, which come into effect in the UK from 1 January 2021. So what does your business need to know? Whilst at the time of writing, the UK government have not agreed any trade deals with the EU, what we do know is that things will change irrespective of whether an agreement is reached or not.
This is a small how to guide, to help point you in the right direction for you and your business. Altion Law can assist your business whether you are looking for advice relating to Brexit. If you would like to have a confidential discussion with a member of our team please make an Online Enquiry, and we will call you back at a time that is suitable for you. Alternatively, you can contact us directly on 01908 414990.
Altion Law is here to support you every step of the way, and if we can’t help, we usually know someone that can!
Importing and exporting between Great Britain and the EU
General government guidance that is frequently updated can be found on Gov.uk and for ease we have included a direct link below but have also outlined key areas and steps to take within this article.
Exporting excise duty paid goods from Great Britain to the EU after 1 January 2021
From 1 January 2021 you’ll need to submit an electronic export declaration. There may be an opportunity for businesses to claim back the excise duty on exported goods though making an excise duty drawback claim, however this is not guaranteed and will depend upon circumstances.
Exporting excise duty suspended goods from Great Britain to the EU after 1 January 2021
Duty Suspended goods cannot be transported out to the EU under the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) any more, and you will need to submit an electronic export declaration instead.
If you move any goods without the relevant approval, then you may be liable for excise duty and even penalties, so it is important to familiarise yourself with the process in advance. You may need to register, if you haven’t already, so please take some time to review this ahead of 1st Jan 2021. See this government link for guidance:
If a movement is sent out under the EMCS system to an EU country 7 days before 1 January 2021, where the item will be dispatched on or after 1 January 2021 – the movement will be rejected by EMCS and HMRC.
Moving excise duty suspended goods to the place of export from Great Britain
You must, however use the EMCS system to transport any excise duty suspended goods from their current location in the UK to the place where they will be exported from.
In order to you will need to either appoint a registered consignor to move the goods, or you will need to ensure that the warehousekeeper declares the transport on the EMCS system.
The authorised warehousekeeper or registered consignor must:
- complete and submit an electronic administrative document (eAD) through EMCS before the movement takes place
- get a unique Administrative Reference Code (ARC) for that specific movement (that EMCS generates)
- complete a customs export declaration using the National Export System (NES) and enter the ARC in box 40
- receive an ‘accepted for export’ notification on EMCS after the goods are cleared by customs – this should be generated if the ARC on EMCS matches the details in Box 40 of the customs export declaration
- receive a ‘report of export’ to ensure the export is closed on EMCS
The ARC must match the customs export declaration within 30 days of the customs export declaration being submitted, or the movement will marked ‘rejected for export’.
Goods dispatched before 31 December 2020, but received after 1 January 2021
Where goods are dispatched on or before 31 December 2020, and received on or after 1 January 2021, you will not need to complete a customs export declaration in the Great Britain if:
- the goods are travelling under a recognised excise scheme at that time
- you can show that the movement started on or before 31 December 2020
Do be aware that HMRC or UKBF may ask for evidence of the date and time that your goods were dispatched. You will be able to confirm this by providing the following documents:
- an eAD or other commercial document showing and ARC for excise duty suspended goods
- a Simplified Accompanying Administrative Document (SAAD) form, or you could provide the request to import excise goods to an EU member state (a HM4) for excise duty paid goods
If you cannot show the date and time that the goods were dispatched then the transport will be treated in the same way as if it had left after 1 January 2021.
From 1 January 2021, anyone importing goods from the EU will need to make a customs declaration, in the same way that you would if importing from the rest of the world. You can make these declarations yourself, however you may find it easier to use a customs agent or equivalent, at least in the first instance until you get to grips with the new process.
More detailed explanations from Gov.uk can be found at this link.
Import Processes – https://www.gov.uk/prepare-to-import-to-great-britain-from-january-2021
Licenses/ Certificates etc
The rules for importing certain types of goods will also change from 1 January 2021, and you may find that you will need licence, certificate or have other rules to follow. See these government links to assist:
- Check what import licences or certificates you need
- Check the marking, labelling and marketing standards for food, plant seeds and manufactured goods
- Check the rules for importing alcohol, tobacco and certain oils
You may need a new EORI number. Current EOIR numbers have been granted under EU regulations, you may need to obtain a new EOIR which starts with a GB from 1 January 2021.
Duties and Vat
You will need to pay duties and Vat on all imports from 1 January 2021. Check these government guidance links below:
You will also need to make customs declarations when you import any goods from the EU. You may be able to delay declarations for up to 6 months, however if you do this you should make sure that you keep clear records of what you imported and when as it can be much harder to recall after the event.
What About Northern Ireland?
Northern Ireland whilst part of the UK, will have different rules and regulations. The UK and the EU are trying very hard to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, but until negotiations between the UK and the EU conclude, there will be some areas without complete certainty.
Altion Law can assist your business whether you are looking for advice relating to Brexit or if you have received a 12A Notice of Seizure or a warning letter regarding seized or confiscated goods. Altion Law can assist in contesting the legality of the seizure and negotiating with HMRC or UK Border Force to return the seized item(s) in the meantime. Prompt action is of utmost importance where goods have been seized or held. Altion Law have substantial experience of managing Restoration negotiations with HMRC and UK Border Force. Our solicitors have experience in handling Condemnation proceedings at court and are able to provide effective and prompt advice.
If you would like to have a confidential discussion with a member of our team please make an Online Enquiry, and we will call you back at a time that is suitable for you. Alternatively, you can contact us directly on01908 414990.