There’s no escaping the fact that the UK’s impending departure from the European Union will trigger changes for businesses. Despite the conversations about and around the subject, there is still considerable uncertainty about what will actually happen which can make it difficult to plan.

British Chambers of Commerce has published a comprehensive checklist, and HMRC have an online tool to help you decide what you may need to do to prepare.

To help you find your way through the legal language, we’ve compiled a jargon buster for Brexit.

EORI number

This stands for Economic Operator Registration and Identification number. If your business involves moving any goods in or out of the EU, you will need an EORI number.

It is used by HMRC to make sure they collect the right amount of duty on your goods. Without one, they might not be able to clear your goods, causing delays and extra expense.

You will need an EORI number that starts with GB to be able to continue doing business with the EU, if the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal.

To apply for an EORI number, and to read more about what is required, visit the GOV.UK website.

Transitional Simplified Procedures

Also known as TSP, these are intended to be a temporary measure to help those UK businesses that import goods from the EU.

Businesses who trade outside of the EU will be well-used to making a full import declaration and paying duty in order for the goods to be released from customs control. If this is you, you can use the same customs agent or software that you normally use to make declarations for your EU-UK trade. Make sure you speak to your agent about any other processes that might be involved.

If you trade with the EU, and no Brexit deal is in place when the UK leaves, you will be expected to apply the same sort of processes to your business that apply for the rest of the world.

Having TSP in place means that you do not have to give as much information on the import declaration straight away, for the goods to cross the border. It also means that you can defer duty payments, which can help with cash flow.

If you do not already have a customs agent or software, you will need to apply for TSP. Having an EORI number is required for the application.

Making a Customs Declaration

Once EORI and TSP are set up, you will need to make customs declarations. It’s important to get the right information, such as the commodity code, to make sure you are prepared for how much duty or taxes to pay.

There are couriers or freight forwarders who will make customs declarations on your behalf. To do it yourself using third party software, the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) is the system for trader declarations.

Knowing What You Must Do

The rules on international trade can be very complex, and it’s always a good idea to make sure you know exactly what your business should be doing. Planning ahead will help you to avoid any delays or unexpected costs. It might well be worth considering using a professional who can help you get everything set up, and as things evolve.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

An SEO Copywriter and Content Creator. After more than ten years of enjoying myself by turning difficult subjects into elegant, simple language, I still can't believe I get paid for this.

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