HMRC (Imports) Customs Simplifications (UK Brexit)

Disclaimer : this Blog is not focused on Customs arrangements per se.

UPDATE (19 Feb 2019) : further easements – here.

UPDATE (4 Feb 2019) : these are now published – here. Transitional simplified procedures – here.

UPDATE : these do not apply to trade across the international border on the island of Ireland. These are initial plans from the UK side, they are not worked through with the EU (or agreed with the EU). In no deal, EU agreement is not needed, the EU is just supplied with the documentation they need for their processes.

HMRC has a Customs Partnership Pack, it’s in its third edition. Here.

I am hearing about substantial simplifications planned for EU/UK trade. Also for RoRo traffic. Available for undefined time but 12 months’ notice will be given if changes planned. These are not yet published. I will update this post, as necessary.

(1) Customs declarations and pre-notifications still required but various simplifications available to avoid congestion. Traders able to lodge them ahead of goods arriving at the border or into company’s records.

(2) Initial declaration submitted in the company’s own commercial records. Once the goods arrive in the UK a supplementary declaration is lodged.

(3) Transitional arrangements very similar to the two existing customs procedures Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) and Entry in Declarants Records (EIDR).

(4) Brokers able to use own CFSP authorizations without being jointly liable for customs duties. Only importer liable to encourage brokers to use own CFSP. Unlike now. This simplification available for all trade, not only EU-UK.

(5) Relaxation of comprehensive guarantee requirement. Simpler version of the guarantee available for all traders without the need to meet the current CCG requirements. Sufficient time given to provide a guarantee.

(6) Only anti-smuggling (Border Force) checks at the border on selected shipments based on risk-analysis. Reminder -this is what currently happens. Even goods from other EU countries currently undergo these checks.

(7) Special simplifications for customs formalities also for traders of controlled goods (requiring a licence or a certificate).

[my thanks to Dr Anna Jerzewska, trade expert, for the above information]

Customs Transit Procedures (Brexit UK)

The Customs Transit Procedures (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (SI 1258) are enacted. These will come into force when separately determined by Treasury Regulations (not enacted yet), these separate Treasury regulations will be made under the (Brexit) Taxation (Cross-border) Trade Act 2018. The Regulations are here.

These Regulations make provision for the international movements of goods, with import duty suspended, under the internationally recognised common transit procedure and TIR Carnet system, with provision for such movements within the United Kingdom. They also provide for such movements of goods under arrangements for NATO forces.

When enacted, they will ensure that these customs procedures operate as before once the United Kingdom exits the European Union.

Draft Notices to be made under these Regulations are here.

Detailed following of the new Customs arrangements is beyond the scope of this Blog. HMRC continue to publish guidance and instructions. Please follow HMRC for these.

Grants for Customs Declarations (Brexit)

The UK Government has today announced grants for companies and individuals carrying out customs declarations, the details are here.

– Up to £750 for each employee receiving training

– Up to €200,000 for new software (the maximum under EU state aid rules)

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC.

More information about the grants is on PwC’s website. The link to apply will be published on the government link above in early December 2018.

Ireland and the Netherlands have been offering grants for some time – here.

Customs, Excise and VAT (UK Brexit)

I have posted already with the UK Technical Notices for Brexit Preparedness. HMRC has three of these Technical Notices. Further instruction is now issued from HMRC in the form of a Partnership Pack. This is here.

For goods exports, the following is required :

(1) register for an EORI number – not open yet [EORI – is UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number] and ensure the EU bloc customer also has an EORI number

(2) check is a special licence is required

(3) get the commodity code from published codes

(4) get the correct Customs Procedure Code (CPC)

(5) decide how to declare to HMRC – this is complex – decide if to pay a Freight Forwarder, an Express Courier, or a Customs Agent/Broker

(6) register for the National Export System (NES)

(7) attach the invoice (and licence if needed) with the goods transport

(8) present the goods to customs

(9) finalise the Export entry on HMRC CHIEF system

(10) keep records for 6 years

The Pack is the first of a series of more specific HMRC instructions. This Pack also covers Goods Imports. It does not cover direct sales on a digital platform.