HMRC has today announced new measures to ease the flow of imports from the EU in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
Currently, under import processes for trading with the rest of the world, goods are not released from customs control until a full import declaration is made and the duty is paid or accounted for.
However, HMRC has today announced new transitional simplified procedures (TSP) to make it easier for businesses to import goods from the EU using roll on roll off locations like Dover or the Channel Tunnel.
These procedures will reduce the amount of information businesses need to give in an import declaration when goods are crossing the border, by allowing importers to defer giving a full declaration and paying any duty. These measures will be reviewed up to six months after they are introduced.
To register to use transitional simplified procedures businesses must have an EORI number, be established in the UK, and be importing goods from the EU into the UK - including goods travelling via the EU from the rest of the world providing they have cleared EU customs formalities.
Commenting on the new procedures, Brad Ashton, international trade partner at RSM said:
'Today's announcement is a sign of a dawning realisation that changes are required to ease the flow of inbound goods in a no-deal scenario.
'These measures are designed to mitigate the impact of burdensome customs processes for goods coming from the EU – particularly for those businesses that haven't previously had to deal with customs procedures.
'However, while this is being presented as a simplification, applying to use the process - and having the facilities such as a duty deferment arrangement in place - will nevertheless take some time to set up, especially as there are potentially 145,000 companies or more who may be affected.
'It also reinforces the message that we and the Government have been pushing in recent months. For those preparing to import goods from the EU post-Brexit, now is the time to act.'