Brexit is a fact. So what now?
30 March 2020
You cannot fail to be aware of Brexit. After a drawn-out and tense process, the United Kingdom finally left the European Union on 31 January 2020 with a withdrawal agreement. So the Brexit is now a fact, but what are the latest developments? Has a lot changed for importers? What do you need to take into account as of 1 January 2021? And what consequences does this have for your customs affairs? We will gladly inform you about the latest issues and advise you about the preparations you should probably already be taking.
What’s the latest status?
The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020 with a so-called withdrawal agreement. So Brexit is a fact. Because there is a transition period until 31 December 2020 at the latest, we are not noticing much of this process at the moment. During this period almost nothing will change and the way of working will remain the same as before 31 January. For the time being, the UK is treated as an EU member state. European Customs legislation and regulations will also remain in force until further notice.
The transition period in 2020
During this transitional phase, the United Kingdom will negotiate its future status with the European Union, which negotiates on behalf of all 27 EU countries. Nobody knows what the trade relationship between these parties will be like. They will continue talking over the coming months and hope to reach a cooperation agreement before the end of this year. These new agreements must then be approved by the EU countries, the British Parliament and the European Parliament. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already said that he does not want an extension of the transitional period ending on 31 December 2020.
Prepare in good time
As we do not yet know exactly what will change, entrepreneurs doing business with the UK will have to take all possible scenarios into account. But you don’t need to just sit and wait. To ensure that you have as few delays as possible in the processing of your shipments as of 1 January 2021, we recommend you prepare for this now. Consider for example the following:
- If you do not yet have an EORI number, now is the time to request it. You will need this number if you lodge a customs declaration or wish to apply for authorisation from Customs.
- Check your current permits. For example, do you have a cross-border customs permit? This is no longer valid in the UK after Brexit.
- If you buy from suppliers in the UK after Brexit, you will have to file an import declaration and pay VAT to Customs. Would you prefer to declare VAT directly? Then apply in good time for an ‘Article 23 Permit’ from the Tax and Customs Administration.
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