HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has released a video featuring advice designed to help businesses continue exporting to the European Union in the event of Britain exiting the bloc without a deal next month.
The video outlines ten steps that companies must adhere to if they are to ensure that their trade processes adhere to all the necessary rules and regulations and therefore comply with EU law.
Let's take a closer look at the advice given in the video so you can see how far along your business is in terms of preparation.
1. Get export advice
The video notes that all UK businesses that previously only traded inside the EU must begin to use the same procedures necessary for trading outside the EU after a no-deal Brexit.
This means many will need to seek advice to help them plan and research their trade with new markets. The Gov.uk website is recommended for this stage in the process.
2. Register for an EORI number
Companies wishing to trade with the EU post-Brexit will need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. HMRC states that this will be unique to each company and is free to obtain.
Those already trading outside the EU will have an EORI number - and your EU customers will also require one should a no-deal Brexit happen.
3. Check if licenses are required
All businesses will need to check if they need a license for the goods being exported, which HMRC says will depend on what they are, what they will be used for and where they're going.
4. Find the commodity code
Next on the list of advice is to look under trade tariffs on the Gov.uk website for the commodity codes that apply to your goods. This determines how much VAT, duty and import tax will apply once they reach their destination country.
5. Customs Procedure Codes
HMRC reminds businesses that it will be essential to have the correct Customs Procedure Code (CPC) in place. The organisation recommends that one of the best ways to arrange this kind of customs declaration is to use a customs agent or a freight forwarder, who will ask you to fill in a commercial invoice.
6. Register for NES
Businesses that do not use a third party will need to register for the National Export System (NES) which allows export declarations to be completed online for your own exports.
Everything that is entered on NES goes through the Customs Handling of Import and Exporter Freight, or CHIEF, so businesses that do everything themselves will require a CHIEF badge.
7. Attach the commercial invoice
All goods being sent out to the EU will need a commercial invoice - and license if necessary - attached to them to ensure that the port of exit can send the consigned goods.
8. Presenting the goods to customs
HMRC explains that the notification of the arrival of the goods at customs is referred to as 'presentation of goods'. The NES system will send a message to the port of exit once this occurs and CHIEF will approve permission to progress.
9. Finalise the export entry
Once the goods actually leave the UK, CHIEF must be sent a departure message so that it can be recorded.
10. The importance of keeping records
The final part of advice emphasised by HMRC is to keep all records and relevant documents relating to exporting to the EU for six years for compliance reasons and potential 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.
If your business is also looking into getting some expert advice on customs and exports post-Brexit, then MIC can help. We are dedicated to the development, implementation and support of Global Trade Management solutions, which will now include products designed to assist with Brexit.
In particular, MIC is able to provide a compliant way for businesses to make their export declarations using a software product that directly files with NES and CHIEF, which is sure to make at least one stage of the new process far easier.
Please feel free to contact us if you need advice or to discuss your own business's individual requirements.