Following on from its ten-step advice video on how exporters can prepare for a no-deal Brexit, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has now released a similar resource designed to help businesses that want to continue trading as importers following such a scenario.
This video is also broken down into a ten-step preparation process that firms must adhere to if they want to avoid falling foul of new rules and regulations after Britain leaves the European Union.
Let's take a closer look at each stage in the video so you can see how prepared your business is to keep on importing after March 29th 2019, should a no-deal be on the cards
1. Obtain an EORI number
HMRC's first piece of advice is that each company trading with and importing from the EU post-Brexit will need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. These are unique to each business and are quick and free to obtain.
Those already trading outside the EU will have an EORI number and will not require another.
2. Commodity codes
The next step will be to find the commodity codes for the goods being imported to classify and declare what they are. This will ensure your business pays the correct duty and import VAT and will also check if any relief applies.
In addition, commodity codes will determine if a license is necessary for specific goods.
3. Determining value
Businesses wanting to import goods will need to work out their value. HMRC states that the easiest way to do this is to use the transaction value - the price payable by the buyer to the seller when the goods are sold for export to the UK.
4. Restricted goods
Next, businesses must check if the goods they are looking to import are restricted and therefore need a special license, such as medicines or plant and animal materials.
The operator of the vehicle transporting the goods will also need to complete a safety and security declaration before the goods arrive in the UK.
5. Origin of the goods
Another requirement is to check where the goods being imported are coming from, as this may reduce the eventual import tariff payable.
6. Facilitation eligibility
In some cases, HMRC points out that special processes called facilitations are available to businesses that trade, as long as they meet certain obligations. Companies that think they are eligible are advised to check this via the Gov.uk website.
7. Customs Procedure Codes
Having the correct Customs Procedure Code (CPC) in place will be necessary to identify why goods are being imported and how they are categorised.
8. Declare your imports
The next stage in the importing process is to declare your imports. HMRC suggests that the easiest way to do this is by using a customs agent or a freight forwarder, although it is possible to create your own declarations.
9. Pay duty and import VAT
Some goods may be liable to excise duty, so this must be paid by the importer. Businesses that are registered for UK VAT may be able to delay having to account for import VAT right away using postponed accounting, which means you declare and recover the import VAT on your next VAT return.
10. Keep detailed records
HMRC's final piece of advice is that companies importing under the new rules must keep careful records and retain all documentation for at least six years in case of future compliance checks.
You can watch the video via YouTube here and businesses preparing for a possible no-deal Brexit can also download an EU Exit Partnership Pack from the Gov.uk website.
HMRC adds that Transitional Simplified Procedures are being put in place to streamline the steps detailed above, which you can find more about on the government's official website.
If you have any concerns about importing or exporting after Brexit whether there is a deal in place or not, then MIC's unique package of software solutions designed to facilitate trade and customs compliance could help to lessen the headache.
Please feel free to contact us if you need advice or to discuss your own business's individual requirements.