A Brexit deal has been agreed in principle with the EU, however both the UK and the EU need to approve and sign the withdrawal agreement.
There would be a transition period to prepare for new rules. The UK could still leave with no deal if the withdrawal agreement is not approved by 31 January 2020, or at the end of a transition period.
We cannot anticipate with any conviction the full impact that Brexit will have on businesses, hence the need to prepare for different scenarios.
Importing and exporting
If you import or export goods to the EU, you need to be aware of the new procedures that will apply to their movement.
When importing, there may be an added cost in the form of Excise and Customs Duty (known as a tariff) where applicable.
Whilst HMRC have put in place measures to ensure a soft landing of the processes for importers, you should familiarise with the procedures you would need to adhere to; failure to do so may negatively impact your supply chain if goods are held up, resulting in potential fines and storage expenses.
It may be necessary to engage Freight Forwarders, Customs Agents or Brokers, or Express Couriers to handle the customs processes on behalf of your company whilst you get things up to speed. Alternatively, you may apply for government grants to fund training for employees and the requisite IT software to make Customs Declarations.
Here are a few changes specifically related to VAT:
The latest guidance, published on the HMRC website on 18 September 2019, advises that it will not be possible to use HMRC’s VAT online services to claim a VAT refund from an EU member state after 5pm on 31 January 2020.
After Brexit, refund claims will need to be made using the existing processes used by businesses based outside the EU, even where the claim is for expenses incurred before Brexit.
The deadline is therefore not the deadline by which a claim for EU VAT incurred in 2019 must be made, but it is the deadline for such a claim to be made via the HMRC Online Portal. The deadline is tight, but if it is possible to do so, the process for claiming VAT via the HMRC Portal is likely to be simpler.
What can you do today?
If you have not yet given Brexit much thought, I would urge you to do the following:
- The government has interactive guidance that outlines the steps you may need to take Prepare your business or organisation for Brexit
- Get in touch with M+A Partners to discuss your supply chain, any vulnerabilities and any detrimental impacts Brexit may have on your business.
- If you need assistance with customs procedures, take a look at this guidance – Appoint someone to deal with customs on your behalf
- Apply for a Customs Training Grant
If you have time
Below are some links that you may find helpful: