Getting your business Brexit ready

Getting your business Brexit ready


With the end of the year quickly approaching, we have updated our latest Brexit advice for importing members based on the UK Government’s latest importing advice. We have summarised some of these changes below.

For goods imported from the EU from 1 January 2021 the UK Government is encouraging business to prepare by:

  1. Finding out how to declare goods from 1 January 2021
  2. Making sure you have the EORI number starting with GB
  3. Checking the rate of tax and duty you will have to pay
  4. Checking if you can make the importing process quicker


In essence, the changes coming in will eventually bring EU imports into line with the current system that is used for goods from non-EU countries.

To prevent chaos at the border and make the EU exit less painful for the first 6 months there are Transition measures available, including deferring the immediate need to submit an entry summary declaration.

Imports from EU can choose to follow the transition measures or to use the non-EU system from 1 January 2021. However, by 30 June 2021 all imports will be using the non-EU system and will require VAT and any duty necessary to be paid upon arrival in the UK.

The TTF have been actively lobbying to ensure the UK agrees a comprehensive free trade deal with the EU. However, all the above will be happening regardless of whether the UK agrees a deal with the EU or not.

From 1 January 2021 the new UK Global Tariff will apply to all imports unless

  • The country or region has a trade deal with the UK
  • The developing country has GSP status with the UK
  • An open Product Quota has been registered with the WTO


Members who wish to defer payment of VAT and duty beyond the point of arrival could look at the following options both of which will require advanced registration with HMRC.

A deferment account will allow a single monthly payment to HMRC for all VAT and duty incurred during the proceeding month.

A registered temporary warehouse facility, which geographically needs to be associated with a port or airport, means VAT and duty are only paid as individual goods are required and released into free circulation.

This facility also allows Inward Processing to take place, where VAT and duty are paid on a manufactured product rather than its imported raw material constituents.

It is important to ensure that any of your staff members who will be handling the process, if you have chosen to do so internally rather than hire an external consultant, are sufficiently trained.

To help prepare the UK for new customs procedures, the Government has made available £50mn in government grant funding to cover the costs of any of the courses provided by the UK Customs Academy.

We encourage our members to apply for the grant and ensure any staff members who will be responsible for completing customs entry are supported to gain these qualifications.

More information on applying for the grant, as well as details about courses, can be found on the UK Customs Academy website.

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