Importing from the EU to the UK? Read this first!

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If you wish to import from the EU after the end of the transition period, you need to know or setup the following:

Delay Customs Import Declarations For Up To Six Months

There will be no need to make immediate import declarations for goods at the UK border or get authorization in advance for most goods.

This will continue for a period of six months, from 1st January 2021 to 30th June 2021. However, if the HMRC has clearly stated that you cannot use this scheme or if the goods are controlled (such as tobacco, alcohol, and hydrocarbon products), you may need to make import declarations.

It could also be due to your business having a poor record in other compliance areas. Please note, however, that there are several qualifying factors to use this scheme.

a) Your business must be in Great Britain.
b) The goods must have been in free circulation in the EU prior to import to the UK.
c) You will need authorization by HMRC to use simplified declarations – as you will need to make a supplementary rather than full customs declarations within six months of the import date. While most businesses use customs brokers or freight forwarders to make the customs declarations, you will need to be registered for the CHIEF system (known as CHIEF badge) and have CHIEF compatible software if you wish to do it yourself.

d) You will aneed to apply for duty deferment account with HMRC as simple declarations require it.

e) You will have to make an entry in your own records for each import known as Entry In Declarant’s Records (EIDR) to use this system. This will record the customs import information.

f) You will have to make an Intrastat declaration as well

EORI Number 

An EORI number is required for both customs and VAT documentation and is a way of identifying businesses or operators who export or import to the EU.

Depending on where they import and export, UK businesses will need one or more of three different types of EORI number as of 1st January 2021.

Businesses in Great Britain 

You will need an EORI number that starts with GB to trade goods with EU countries.

Businesses Moving Goods To Or From Northern Ireland 

You will need a second EORI number that starts with XI if you move goods to or from Northern Ireland (outside of moving goods to the Republic of Ireland.

Businesses Making Declaration or Getting Customs Decisions In EU Countries 

You will need to get an EORI from the customs authority in the EU country where you submit your first declaration or request your first decision if your business makes declarations or gets customs decisions in an EU country.

Please note that you may need to apply for one or more additional EORI numbers if you previously used an EORI number from the days of the UK’s membership of the EU. However, in case you already have a number starting with GB and do not declare customs in the EU or deal with Northern Ireland, this will be sufficient. HMRC automatically began issuing new EORI numbers that began with GB to UK businesses that needed it – beginning in late 2019. You should apply now in case you have not received one as it can take a week for the application to be completed. Later in December 2020, HMRC will begin automatically issuing EORI numbers that begin with XI to businesses that need one. However, you need to apply for an EORI beginning with GB ahead of time if you have not got one to ensure that you get the one beginning with XI automatically.

Commodity Codes 

To apply the correct tariff and quota, customs rely on the correct classification of goods. Different names are given to the classification code in different parts of the world. Luckily, they are all based on the same Harmonized System (HS) maintained by the World Customs Organization (WCO). These are numeric codes that can be applied in theory to every sort of import or export to classify them accurately. These codes are known as commodity codes, within the UK and EU these are required for import and export documentation. They also decide the tariffs and VAT (if any) that needs to be paid. Hence, it is crucial to use the correct commodity code.

The UK will continue to use the same code system that is being used in the EU as of 1st January 2021. Please bear in mind that commodity codes are eight digits long for goods you export and 10 digits long for goods you import. Additionally, you need to know which code applies to the goods you wish to import.

Duty Deferment Account

Paying duties, VAT, and excise duty monthly might make more sense if you import regularly rather than paying them immediately upon import. A duty deferment account lets you achieve this, although your bank or an insurance company will have to act as an approved guarantor on your behalf.

This account is essential for the simplified frontier declaration system and the six-month window in which simplified declarations can be made from 1st January 2021 to 30th June 2021.

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Tanveer Ahmad

Tanveer Ahmad

Tax Associate

Tanveer is ACCA qualified, with expertise in UK Individual and limited company accounting and taxation, Tanveer is dedicated to providing exceptional financial solutions tailored to your needs. He specializes in navigating the complexities of tax investigations, ensuring compliance and peace of mind. Trust Tanveer to handle your accounting matters with utmost professionalism and efficiency, allowing you to focus on what truly matters—growing your business. Let’s work together towards your financial success.

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