Over the next two weeks, many VAT-registered businesses will receive a letter from HMRC allocating them an EORI number – an essential for all businesses that need to trade with the EU after 31 October.
While a lot of details surrounding our exit from the EU and how this will affect businesses are still unclear, HMRC has advised that getting an EORI number is the first step that businesses need to action urgently to be prepared for leaving the EU. Businesses will not be able to continue to move goods in and out of the UK without an EORI number after we have left the EU.
HMRC has used its records to allocate EORI numbers and send letters to all businesses that traded with the EU during 2018. If you don’t receive a letter, applying for your own EORI number can be done online in around 15 minutes. You can find out more about EORI numbers and how to get one at gov.uk/eori. Gov have also issued guidance, which can be viewed here.
Importers are also being advised by HMRC to apply for simpler import procedures known as Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP). This will give you extra time to send in your customs documentation and will allow you to import goods from the EU to the UK without having to make full customs declarations at the border or pay import duties straight away. For more information about TSP, go to gov.uk/hmrc/eu-simple-importing.
For regular updates for businesses on preparing for Brexit, sign up for the Government’s email update service at gov.uk/hmrc/business-support. Select ‘business help and education emails’, then select ‘Brexit’.
We have a Preparing for Brexit Toolkit on the North East Growth Hub, packed with resources and advice to help you prepare for the future.
Business Growth Programme Manager, North East Local Enterprise Partnership