The news about a Brexit agreement with the EU was a breakthrough in the protracted impasse. However, the end is not yet in sight with a new extension to January 31st 2020.  However, the deal is far from sealed. It’s now up to the United Kingdom. Best to be prepared for whatever happens. 

While the Brexit uncertainty is a bit lower now that the draft agreement has been approved, the outcome of the early election could change the game once again. If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without an agreement on 31st of January, it immediately exits the European single market. As of then, other customs rules will apply. This has far-reaching consequences for all those companies that do business across the Channel. Do you have your no-deal scenario ready? With these 5 steps, you are well on your way.

1.     After Brexit: EORI number is required

If free movement between the UK and the EU comes to an end, the privileged trade relationship between the two will cease to exist. You then need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number for customs declarations. To request such a number, inquire with customs administration. Existing numbers will also be replaced.

2.     Submit an export declaration

Export to the UK is no longer possible without an export declaration at customs. You can arrange this yourself or through a specialised customs representative.

3.     Check whether you need permits

After a hard Brexit, long waiting times at the border will be par for the course unless you have the required customs permits. Typical examples are licenses for active or passive processing, loading place, temporary importation or special destination and customs warehouse. Ask customs administration about your permit requirement and whether or not sureties are required.

4.     Replace your existing binding tariff information (BTI)

Your British BTI will expire with a hard Brexit. To renew this, you turn to customs administration. This is possible in every EU member state.

5.     Excise duties & VAT

If you import goods from the UK, this is the same as importing from a "third country". You need an import declaration, and from now on, you have to pay excise duties and VAT.

All smoke but no fire?

Whether or not the hard Brexit will eventually be achieved is still in the cards. A controversial law of the British parliament seeks to avoid this at all costs. The coming days will be decisive, without a doubt. Euler Hermes closely follows the latest developments and will inform you as soon as there is more clarity.

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