Brexit – Frequently Asked Questions
Will I need an EORI number to export?
If the UK fails to reach a withdrawal agreement with the EU then it is likely that trade regulations will match those currently in place for importing and exporting outside of the EU. In this instance an EORI number would be required in order to complete an export customs declaration for the movement of commercial goods. EORI numbers are used to identify the trader, enabling a record to be made of the products being traded and the origin and destination of these products.
How do I check if I am EORI registered?
If you have a UK VAT number, you can check to see if it has EORI status through using the EORI Number Validation Checker. You should use your nine digit VAT number with ‘GB’ at the beginning and ‘000’ at the end, eg GB123456789000.
Do I need to be registered as a limited company in order to get an EORI number?
No. Anyone involved in the import or export of goods outside of the EU requires an EORI number, including individuals. The same will be applicable for imports and exports between the UK – EU, should a deal fail to be reached for Brexit. HMRC are prompting all involved in the import and export of goods with the EU only, to apply now for an EORI number in order to be prepared for all possible scenarios come 31 October 2019.
How long does it take to apply for an EORI number? And is there a cost?
There is no charge to apply for an EORI number. The form which you will be required to complete will depend on whether you are VAT registered in the UK or not. The application process take a matter of minutes and you will usually receive your EORI number within about 3 days of filing your application. Apply online for an EORI number on the government website.
UPDATE 21 August 2019 – As of today, HMRC have confirmed that all VAT registered companies will automatically be allocated an EORI number within the next 2 weeks. Non VAT registered companies wishing to trade with the EU will still be required to apply for an EORI number. The relevant forms can be found in this article.
Will I need an EORI number issued by the EU as well as the UK, to trade with the EU?
Generally speaking, no.
There are some exceptions where UK businesses will need to submit a customs declaration to the EU and so will need to register for an EORI number from the EU as well.
- If a UK business with a French branch exports goods from the UK to its French branch, then it will be responsible for making an export declaration to UK customs and an import declaration to French customs. So it will need an EORI number issued by the UK and an EORI number from the EU.
- Some sale contracts may state that either the buyer or the seller are responsible for both the export declaration and import declaration. The responsibilities of each party are often set out in a sale contract using Incoterms. If the UK business is responsible for both the export declaration and import declaration then it will need both an EORI number issued by the UK and an EORI number from the EU.
Where do you get information of commodity codes and tariff?
All product classifications can be found on the trade tariff service section of the Government website.
For complete assurance that you are utilising the right code you can apply for a Binding Tariff Information (BTI) ruling. The process for applying for a BTI will change if the UK leaves the EU without securing a deal. A new eBTI digital service will be launched by HMRC for future applications.
AEO – Authorised Economic Operator Status
Is AEO a solution for SME’s when it comes to Brexit or is the scheme just for larger companies and freight forwarders?
HMRC is encouraging all companies to apply for AEO and not just the bigger companies. When it comes to Brexit, if you are AEO accredited, you will certainly be in a better position in terms of trade facilitation schemes and approvals.
To apply for AEO status you will require an EORI number and will need to complete the relevant application form. Application for AEO status can be a lengthy and complex process however. Although, as Velta are an AEO accredited company, you can benefit from smoother movement of your goods with us. If you do wish to apply for AEO status, our experienced Customs team can help you with your application.
What is the process of completing an import or export declaration?
Most goods imported and exported between the UK and EU are moved with only a packing list at present. Should the UK fail to reach a deal on Brexit, additional documentation will be required to enable the movement of goods. This documentation may include a commercial invoice, Certificates of Origin, and potentially other certificates and licences depending on the goods being imported or exported.
If we go to WTO rules what does this mean for my imports and exports?
It means, among many other things, there will be no duty reductions on tariffs until the UK can strike a deal with individual countries.
At the moment, the EU has done so on behalf of its members. Once the UK is out, the UK itself will be considered a third country (in terms of trade).
This could mean costs will go up as imports and exports to the EU will no longer be tariff-free and if the UK and the EU can’t agree a system for recognising product standards, like safety regulations, there are likely to be more border checks.
What sort of customs duty we can expect?
Should the UK reach an agreement with the EU, any customs duty applied will be in line with the agreement met. If no agreement can be made then trade between the EU and the UK will revert to WTO tariffs. Details of these, for all commodities can be found at http://tariffdata.wto.org/ReportersAndProducts.aspx
Due to the vagueness surrounding Brexit at present, at this stage we are encouraging our clients to be prepared for any eventuality.
If you have any further questions regarding Brexit and the impact that it may have on your import and export trade, please get in touch!