While No. 10 awaits its new occupant, it’s clear that the EU considers a no-deal Brexit very likely. British industry seems to be suffering from a mixture of inertia, oblivion and misunderstanding when it comes to preparing for a no-deal.
A recent BBC Newsnight investigation found that almost no UK businesses importing from the EU have taken any action. So here’s a quick reminder of what you should be doing to prepare for a no-deal:
Simplified customs procedures
If you’re a business importing goods from the EU, you should register for Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) now.
In the event of a no-deal, TSP will enable UK businesses to continue importing goods from the EU27 without the need to complete new customs declarations at the point of import. It also enables UK businesses to defer paying import duties for 12 months.
If you don’t register for TSP, your goods might well be held in a queue with your import duties needing to be paid upfront, which could affect your business efficiency.
To move goods in and out of the UK, your business needs a unique identification number to ensure you pay the right amount of duty to HMRC. This is a 14-digit Economic Operator Regulation Identification (EORI) number beginning with GB. You must have this to register for TSP.
It takes 10 minutes to apply and currently takes three days to be issued.
Originally, it was thought that acquiring Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status would ease the process and minimise the impact of customs requirements going forward. Recent commentary suggests that, in the event of a no-deal, AEO certificates issued by HMRC might no longer be recognised in the EU.
In practical terms, this means that EU27 ports and airports might not grant preferential treatment to certain import/exports, even if they’re AEO-certified. However, UK ports and airports will continue to offer preferential treatment. We still believe all business will be better off with an AEO number.
AEO status can take up to 120 days to approve, so action should be taken NOW.
As part of our strategic advisory services, we have developed an analysis tool – BX360 – that provides a bespoke evaluation of your level of readiness for a no-deal Brexit.
One of our partners will be delighted conduct a review of your business’s key issues, including customs and tariffs, finance and taxation, legal and contracts, and people implications. No areas are off-limits as we help you prioritise your actions.