18 September, 2019 in Industry News

Brexit Planning Checklist - Preparing for a 'no-deal'?

(*Article updated since original publication in March 2019) With the continued uncertainty around Brexit, planning for a “No Deal” scenario seems sensible right now. In the event that the UK exits the EU without a deal on 31 Oct 2019, many UK businesses will need to apply the same processes to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.

The Government has published guidance: “UK government's preparations for a no deal scenario” and it continues to provide updates on how to prepare for the event.
See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-governments-preparations-for-a-no-deal-scenario

Businesses that buy and sell from the EU should have contingency plans in place which will need to be flexible to cope with a variety of possible outcomes.

Here are some of the areas you may want to consider, particularly if you import or export goods to the EU and haven’t had the need to complete the various forms before. The checklist also considers general implications of a “no deal” Brexit.

     Movement of Goods


1.    Register (unless you already have) for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number -  https://www.gov.uk/eori


2.    Consider an agent to help with completing import/export forms – www.export.org.uk or DIY the forms (see below).


3.    Contact your haulage company to check whether additional information is needed so they can make safety and security declarations or whether you will DIY these – guidance can be found from HMRC: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/declaring-your-goods-at-customs-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-with-no-deal


4.    Export rules are specific by sector so review “Preparing your business for the UK leaving the EU” on the Gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/business-uk-leaving-eu


5.    If you import goods then consider registering for “Transitional Simplified Procedures” (TSP) which enables registered importers to defer making customs declarations and paying duty. See:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-for-simplified-import-procedures-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal


6.    Review guidance on how to prepare for the Customs Declaration service (CDS) which outlines what you need to do to get ready for the CDS. This depends on whether your business currently uses the “Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight” (CHIEF): https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-hmrc-will-introduce-the-customs-declaration-service


7.    Review HMRC videos, webinars and consider registering for email alerts – Choose EU Exit:    https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-webinars-email-alerts-and-videos?utm_source=referrer&utm_campaign=card-transaction-programme&utm_medium=1-to-many-letter&utm_content=educational


8.    You may choose to register for “Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status which enables “Trusted” businesses simplified customs procedures. Application does take time and is complex. See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/authorised-economic-operator-certification


9.    HMRC have acknowledged that a “no deal” scenario may affect the working capital of many businesses and are reintroducing postponed accounting for duty and VAT which will be settled on VAT returns and not at the port. See:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-for-businesses-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/vat-for-businesses-if-theres-no-brexit-deal for further guidance.


10. If you trade in goods with the EU and keep stock in the EU for supply to EU customers you will need local VAT registration. You could also be asked to appoint a fiscal representative (and should have bank guarantees as they will be jointly liable for VAT you owe). See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/partnership-pack-preparing-for-a-no-deal-eu-exit


11. If your business currently uses the UK VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS Union scheme) which allows you to account for VAT - normally due in multiple EU countries, you can continue to use the MOSS system after 29th March, but must register for the VAT MOSS non-Union scheme in an EU member state: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-it-system-rules-and-processes-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal


12. Consider forming a company in the EU. Talk to us about how we can help you with our colleagues in Ireland.


Invest NI and Intertrade Ireland are both currently offering funding towards planning and preparation for Brexit.

If you would like to discuss any of the points listed above and what it may mean for you and your business please get in touch.  


Other articles of interest:

No Deal Brexit - What about VAT?

Brexit - 'Start to Plan' Service Vouchers

Invest NI Brexit Preparation Grant


References and further resources:

1) Prepare for EU exit: https://euexit.campaign.gov.uk/

2) British Chamber of Commerce: https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/page/brexit/business-brexit-checklist

3) ICAEW: https://www.icaew.com/technical/economy/brexit

4) EEF (The Manufacturers’ Organisation): https://www.brexittoolkit.co.uk/tools/our-blog/post/13635/brexit-preparation-guide-supply-chain-mapping

5) European Union: https://europa.eu/youreurope/index.htm#en



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Whilst every effort has been made by CavanaghKelly to ensure the accuracy of the information here, it cannot be guaranteed and neither CavanaghKelly nor any related entity shall have liability to any person who relies on the information herein. Information given here is for guidance only. Detailed professional advice should be taken before acting on any information contained herein. If having read the guidance here, you would like to discuss further; a member of our team would be pleased to help you.