Is your business ready for Brexit, no matter what the outcome?

Here at GP Logistics, being at the forefront of independent customs clearance services in the UK, we are keeping close to all the latest developments within the Government, HM Revenue & Customs, Software providers and trade associations (British International Freight Association, Institute of Logistics & Transport etc).

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Brexit Preparation

The United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on 31st October 2019.

We don’t need to tell you that Brexit, its implications and outcomes are at the forefront of many people’s minds, not least GP Logistics, fellow members of the Graypen Group and all involved in international trade.

Here at GP Logistics, being at the forefront of independent customs clearance services in the UK, we are keeping close to all the latest developments within the Government, HM Revenue & Customs, Software providers and trade associations (British International Freight Association, Institute of Logistics & Transport etc).

The truth is no-one knows at this point how Brexit will play out; however we do strongly recommend that all customers ensure that they do plan for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit as a worse-case scenario.

No Deal

If you currently move goods to or from any of the 27 other EU Members, in the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit scenario then all these movements will be subject to import or export customs clearance.  There has been speculation that this could have a major impact on traffic flows at key ports.

We would suggest that if you have not already done so, that you do at least the following as a matter of urgency.

  • Obtain an EORI (Economic Operator Registration Number). You MUST have one of these to be able to customs clear in your name. Its free and only takes 10 minutes to apply online. This should take a few days – link here: https://www.gov.uk/eori
  • Ensure that you know HS (Harmonised System) tariff codes for your goods. This classifies your goods for import and export and enables you to know what rate duty will be applied on import. Link here: https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff
  • If you don’t yet have a customs clearance agent – then find and nominate one – ideally AEO authorised and a member of professional / trade association. GP Logistics would be happy to handle this for you.

How can we help?

We have been speaking with key clients for the last year or so regarding preparations for a no deal Brexit, as well as other key areas following the UK leaving the EU.

  • AEO Authorised  – meaning that we are authorised by HMRC as a ‘trusted trader’  This is an internationally recognised quality mark which shows that our role in the international supply chain is secure and that our customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant. It’s not mandatory, but gives quicker access to some simplified customs procedures and, in some cases, the right to ‘fast-track’ shipments through some customs and safety & security procedures.
  • Customs Control Centre – Situated in Newport and having just moved to larger, more modern offices, we offer a 24/7 service and have customs ‘badges’ for all major UK ports meaning we can customs clear on your behalf online through DTI (direct trader input)
  • Import Licencing – Many of our customers import products that require an import licence. We can assist you with this and many of our customers delegate this important task to us.
  • EMCS  – We are specialists in EMCS (Excise Movement & Control System)
  • Help and advice. We would be pleased to advise on any customs issue you might have, join the hundreds of companies across the globe that trust GP Logistics to handle customs formalities in the UK on their behalf.

Latest information as at 1st October 2019

The PDF below shows in detail the latest update from HMRC / Government, notes below in summary:

HMRC Presentation 25.09.2019

In the event of a no deal scenario the Government has made the following ‘easements’ – note that these are temporary arrangements and NOT intended to be permanent.

Day One Easements:

  • Introduced ‘Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP)’ – a simplified version of a customs entry with basic information. GPL are registered for this. This allows goods to move quickly through the border with limited information and to defer any liabilities if applicable.
  • Revised liability for intermediaries ensuring that intermediaries do not get ‘caught’ in the indirect representation problem (whereby the agent becomes jointly responsible for any debt to customs). Relaxed some of the rules regarding guarantees for duties and taxes or special procedures (CCG, IPR, OPR, Customs Warehousing etc)
  • Phasing in of Entry Summary Declarations (ENS) over a 12-month period – this relates mainly to Safety and Security elements of HMRC / Border force responsibility.

Day One:

  • All declarations pre-lodge electronically in advance.
  • Routine fiscal and other checks undertaken away from borders.

Long Term:

  • Government looking at automated solutions and use of technology for ‘smart borders’

Note that these ‘light’ procedures only apply to what are considered standard goods. Excise goods (alcohol, tobacco, hydrocarbons etc), pharmaceutical, animal products and explosives etc will continue to have more stringent procedures. These are being developed / defined currently and a basic overview is in the presentation attached.

Duty:

As above HMRC advised that many ‘simple’ imports would be duty free. For any customers not yet using a duty deferment account, they should consider applying for one. Note that rules regarding the CCG (Customs Comprehensive Guarantee) have been eased as part of the ‘Day One Easements’

VAT:

In a no-deal scenario, postponed accounting will be introduced for imports from the EU and the rest of the world. VAT Numbers would need to be declared and any VAT will show on statements for reconciliation via the VAT return. Obviously only UK VAT registered companies can benefit from this.

Excise:

Rest of world rules will apply to imports of excise goods from EU. EMCS will continue to be used but only valid for movements within the UK and not intra-EU. REDS will be obsolete and shut down.

Key points for customers as follows:

  • If not already applied for or allocated one, they need to apply for EORI (Economic Operator Registration Number), note that if companies are already VAT registered and not yet applied for one, they will be auto enrolled.
  • Consider registering for TSP (Transitional Simplified Procedures) if established in the UK
  • Talk to customs agent / logistics provider for each part of the process and appoint a customs intermediary – GP Logistics obviously !
  • Ensure that Incoterms on any UK/ EU movements is clearly defined.
  • Consider applying for a duty deferment account if applicable to their products.

We strongly recommend in the interim that customers ensure that they are signed up for the Government / HMRC email updates and regularly check the website www.gov.uk/brexit

Links:

The following links are useful pointers for additional information if you are looking for more detailed information on specific areas.