Brexit continues to dominate the news with the UK’s departure from the European Union delayed beyond the recent 31 October deadline.  The EU has given the UK until 31 January 2020 to ratify the withdrawal agreement currently on the table.

However, this will not be of much comfort to businesses trying to plan for the future.  The 2019 Budget scheduled for 6 November has been postponed and Parliament has agreed to a General Election to be held on 12 December.

The significant differences in the main parties’ taxing and spending plans adds to the uncertainties facing businesses.

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 EU VAT Refund system will cease to operate and companies will have to recover refunds directly from the EU countries.
  • The EC Sales lists will no longer be required after UK leaves the EU.
What can you do today?

If you have not yet given Brexit much thought, I would urge you to do the following:

If you have time

Below are some links that you may find helpful:

Help and support for traders in a no-deal Brexit

Transitional simplified procedures

The Brexit Checklist

Written by