HMRC assesses business cost of no-deal Brexit

Brexit | 8 October 2019

More customs forms for businesses after Brexit could equate to greater costs, HMRC warns.


HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published a new assessment of what the cost to businesses may be of a no-deal Brexit.

The organisation analysed the costs of submitting a customs declaration to come up with its new figures, pointing out that there could be "a significant new and ongoing administrative burden for businesses moving goods between the UK and the EU" if no agreement is reached by October 31st 2019.

Currently, goods being imported to the UK from the EU do not need a customs declaration, but this would not be the case if Britain leaves the union in a no-deal scenario.

Furthermore, administrative costs would apply to companies still in the EU because export declarations from the UK would require a corresponding import declaration from Europe.

With this in mind, HMRC estimates the costs for UK-EU trade to rise to up to £56 (€62) per declaration in a worst-case scenario.

This may mean a total of up to £15 billion a year, with 215 million more customs declarations forms having to be processed.

Costs imposed on UK or EU businesses will have "wider implications for supply chains, and therefore for consumers and businesses in either market," its statement concluded. 

Meanwhile, chancellor Sajid Javid this week announced the launch of a Brexit red tape challenge to identify EU regulations that could be improved or removed, insisting he intends to "liberate entrepreneurs, small businesses and consumers" from bureaucracy.