Get Ready for Brexit
New rules on trade, travel, and business between the UK and EU will take effect on 1 January 2021.
This will also affect trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
You need to prepare now to ensure that your business is able to accommodate the new requirements for trade under Brexit from 1 January 2021
So, what steps do you need to take to be ready for Brexit?
Step 1: Consider how Brexit will impact your business and your movement of goods.
- Do you move goods or products from an EU country into the UK?
- Do you move goods or products from the UK to an EU country?
- Do you move goods from Great Britain into Northern Ireland?
If yes to any of these, a UK Customs Declaration is essential and required by law. All goods will also require a Security Declaration. Export declarations to the EU are required from 1 January, Import declarations from the EU will also be required but for most goods and traders you will have up to 6 months to complete the process. However, delaying the completion of your declarations will expose you to building up a backlog, increasing your administration costs and a growing liability for any taxes and duties due on the goods. We believe it is best practice to be be able to complete your declarations as you import the goods and do so as early as possible in 2021.
Descartes e-Custom software provides a straightforward way of submitting Customs Declarations. It also allows you to record the import in your records pending submission of a supplementary declaration for those first 6 months should you require this.
Step 2: Determine who is responsible for the Customs Declarations in your business and apply for an EORI Number.
You will need to determine whether it’s you or your supplier that is responsible for making the required Customs Declarations, when moving goods either into or out of the UK. There are a set of rules that define the essential terms of trade for the sale of goods known as ‘Incoterms’, published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). They will enable you to determine if you or the Supplier is considered to be the Importer or Exporter and therefore responsible for the Customs Declarations under Brexit.
If you are responsible for (or will be named on) the Customs Declaration you will need a UK EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number.
- An EORI is a registration number required to undertake Imports or Exports
- You will need a UK EORI for Imports or Exports into or out of the UK
- You will need an EU EORI for Imports or Exports into or out of the EU
Step 3: Apply for Other Authorisations
If you are not established in the customs territory do you need to appoint a tax representative?
If you import or export plant or animal products, high-risk food or feed, medicines, textiles, chemicals or firearms you should determine if you need to register with the relevant authority as an importer or exporter and if you need to obtain certificates for importing into the EU.
Check whether your goods must only enter the UK or EU dedicated inspection points.
Decide if you wish to operate any simplified procedures, such as making a simplified customs declaration at the frontier followed by a supplementary declaration post import (known as CFSP in the UK), or Entry in the Declarants records which replaces the need for the Simplified Declaration.
Do you need an account with customs to enable the payment of duties and other taxes?
VAT registered businesses should be able to benefit from postponed accounting under current UK Treasury plans or in countries already offering similar schemes. Descartes can relieve the burden of managing your regulatory compliance and Customs Declarations with our eCustoms software.
Step 4: Apply for a CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight) or CDS (Customs Declaration Service) Account
As a company if you wish to submit your own declarations you will also need to apply for an account to use the UK Government's declarations filing system CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight) or enrol for the CDS service. You may also need a port account (Badge from a CSP).
Step 5: If Required, use a Broker
If you choose to use a 3rd party agent to submit your declarations on your behalf, it is highly likely you will remain liable for the information declared. This is what agents will refer to as acting as a ‘direct representative’. Descartes recommend that you obtain at least some basic Customs training.
Step 6: Sign-up to Descartes e-Customs Software as a Service to manage your customs declarations.
All businesses that trade with the EU will need to ensure they are prepared for the changes and new requirements for trading with the EU. Download our Brexit Checklist to ensure you are ready for Brexit with Descartes.