Ahead of the UK's exit from the EU on 31 January 2020, HMRC has issued letters to inform VAT-registered businesses about how they can prepare for future trade arrangements.
The letters explain which actions businesses must take if they will be trading with the EU after the implementation period, which will last until 31 December 2020.
These include getting a UK economic operator registration and identification (EORI) number, and deciding how to make customs declarations.
From 1 January 2021 onwards, businesses will need an EORI number that starts with ‘GB' in order to move goods between the UK and the EU. Without one, they may face increased costs and delays to moving their goods.
Businesses can apply for an EORI number here.
Exporters and importers will also need to prepare to make customs declarations, whether through an agent or by themselves.
HMRC also included an update on its transitional simplified procedures service, which was set up to simplify importing in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The service is currently suspended, and will not be required between February and December 2020, but businesses that applied for it have been told to "keep their paperwork safe".
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