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Brexit Future Relationship

Brexit: HMRC simplifies importing from the EU as part of “no deal” preparation

Elizabeth Wilson 14 February 2019 No comments

HMRC has announced Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for customs in order to ease the importing process should we leave the EU without a deal. The new arrangements will be available for at least the first year.

What does TSP involve?

HMRC has written to 145,000 VAT-registered businesses trading with the EU to inform them of the simplified procedures. The letter advises that that, once registered for TSP, businesses will be able to transport goods from the EU into the UK without having to make a full customs declaration at the border. Businesses will also be able to postpone paying any import duties until the month after import.

How long will TSP operate for?

The TSP policy will be reviewed three to six months after its introduction on 29 March 2019. At least 12 months’ notice will be given to businesses before its withdrawal, at which point the usual customs procedures will be applied to imports from the EU.

This allows businesses more time to prepare for the new rules, including training staff on customs declarations and processes (see our earlier blog article on government grants available to support training and increased automation).

Treasury Minister, Mel Stride MP, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, commented:

“HMRC is helping businesses get prepared and, amongst other significant communications, has written three times to affected businesses, each time stepping up the advice and encouraging them to take action.”

“This latest letter, and new GOV.UK guidance, announces Transitional Simplified Procedures for EU trade which will ease the transition, especially for businesses new to the rules associated with importing.”

How will TSP help businesses?

The new procedures reduce the amount of information importers are required to provide in an import declaration by allowing importers to:

  • defer giving a full declaration until after the goods have crossed the border; and,
  • defer paying any duty until the month following importation.

Where tariffs apply to the imported goods, TSP registered businesses will be required to set up a direct debit to defer the payment of any import duties.

How to apply for TSP

From 7 February 2019, businesses that have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, are established in the UK and import goods from the EU to the UK, can register here for TSP.

Please get in touch if you require any further information, or would like assistance registering for TSP or an EORI number.