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Brexit: Importing goods from the EU to Great Britain as a business

Geo-blocking

Does your business purchase goods from a European Union (EU) seller and bring them to Great Britain? Do you send goods you have sold to a buyer in the EU? Do you need to move equipment that you use for your business, without exchanging money, between Great Britain and the EU? If yes to any of these questions, your business will be affected by the new customs and tax rules.

You should note that Great Britain is England, Wales, and Scotland. The Northern Ireland Protocol creates a border in the Irish sea to prevent a hardening of the border between Northern Ireland (UK) and the Republic of Ireland (EU). The Protocol essentially means that Northern Ireland is still following EU single market rules which creates separate rules when moving goods to Northern Ireland than that discussed here.

Importing goods into Great Britain from EU countries:

The main options for importing goods are; delayed declarations; standard import procedures; simplified declaration procedures; and transit.

Delayed declarations:

This allows you to keep a record of the goods you are importing and delay submitting a full customs declaration. By doing so you can delay paying customs duties for up to six months after import. Delayed declarations can be used for most goods except controlled goods.

You will need an EORI number and your goods may need an import license/certificate. You must submit your supplementary declaration no later than six months after your delayed declaration. In order to submit a supplementary declaration, you must have; a duty deferment account; be authorised for simplified declarations for imports; have specialist software; and have a CHIEF badge(s).

You can check the UK Global Tariff to understand what duties you will need to pay on which goods.

Standard import procedure (full customs declaration):

You will need an EORI number and your goods may need an import license/certificate. You also need a CHIEF badge(s) and specialist software to make declarations. You must complete a full customs declaration which includes having your commodity code and your customs procedure code.

You can check VAT guidance to understand your VAT responsibilities. Check the UK Global Tariff for your goods. You may need to pay; customs duty; import VAT; and excise duty.

To pay your duties owed on goods by monthly direct debit, you need a duty deferment account.

Simplified declaration procedures:

You may wish to use this procedure for most controlled goods, including, animals, food, chemical, and excise goods. You can also use this process for goods which are not controlled. You must be authorised to use this process.

You will need an EORI number and your goods may need an import license/certificate. You must be authorised for a duty deferment account to pay duties by monthly direct debit. You must apply and be authorised for simplified declaration procedures. You need specialist software to complete declarations and need a CHIEF badge(s). You must complete a simplified frontier declaration before your goods leave the EU. Once your goods are moved you must submit your supplementary declaration.

You can check VAT guidance to understand your VAT responsibilities.

Transit:

If goods are being moved through multiple territories or you wish to complete your customs formalities away from the border you may use transit.

You will need an EORI number and your goods may need an important license/certificate. You must consider what customs processes you will need to use once your goods have been discharged from a transit movement, which may include applying for specific authorisations. You should consider applying for authorised consignee status which means you must also apply for temporary storage authorisation and for access to the new computerized transit system. You also need a CHIEF badge(s) and specialist software to make declarations.

To end your transit movement, the goods must be imported or discharged into another customs procedure. Your goods must arrive via and office of transport when they arrive in Great Britain. If you are an authorised consignee, your goods must go to an authorised location with temporary storage facilities to end your transit movement. If you are not using an authorised consignee, your goods must go to an office of destination to end your transit movement.

You can check VAT guidance to understand your VAT responsibilities.

For all the above procedures it is vital that the EU exporter of your goods has done everything they need to do to ensure the goods successfully pass-through EU customs.

As customs processes are complicated it is advised that you use a customs intermediary to help submit customs declarations if you or your employees do not have the skills to do it.

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