As reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post this week “Companies in Leeds are concerned at how continued uncertainty around Brexit is leading to a fall in business investment and increase in stockpiling of goods.”
Leeds City Council have produced, and are getting ready to discuss, a document that is looking into the possible impact of Brexit on the local economy and the continued uncertainty for individuals and businesses who are trying to plan for the future.
The report, entitled “Update on Leeds City Council’s preparations for the UK’s exit from the European Union”, highlights “concerns around the increase in the number and complexity of import and export declarations that are required by Brexit”, adding that “there were also doubts that all firms were fully aware that they would need to complete these”.
Tudor’s Director Adam Johnson reinforces this point with his recent article featured in International Trade Magazine stating that “…plans would make life for Britain’s EU traders much more costly and complex than at present, with the goods they send and receive being subject to increased documentation and checks, taking longer to reach destinations and costing more.”
If you import or export goods, the team at Tudor can’t stress enough the importance of being prepared and getting the right paperwork in place. The Gov.uk site does provide a useful guide that you should refer but these are some pointers that Tudor are advising their customers to get to grips with to minimise disruption.
1) Obtain an EORI Number
If you are sending goods between the UK and the EU you will need to possess a valid EORI number. If you are a VAT registered business you may already have a valid EORI number. You can check the status of your company's EORI number here. If you do not hold a valid EORI number you will need to complete an online registration form.
2) Understand Incoterms
When you review your contracts make sure you know the 11 International Commercial Terms to avoid any confusion, misunderstanding or potential conflict between traders.
The terms define the responsibilities of both the seller and buyer for the delivery of goods under sales contracts and should minimise trade disputes and litigation.
3) Consider Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP)
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, imports between the EU and the UK will be treated like any other import shipment from the rest of the world. As an importer you may wish to consider registering for Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP). However, this is not compulsory and if preferred you can appoint a freight forwarder to manage these procedures for you.
4) Familiarise yourself with commodity codes
You’ll need a commodity code to make a customs declaration when you bring goods in or send goods out of the EU. These codes will help to determine the rate of duty and import VAT you should pay on the movement.
If you are struggling to identify the correct commodity code(s) for your goods you can contact HMRC for advice, guidance and clarification.
The report is due to discussed by Leeds City Council on Monday November 25 so there is no doubt that more useful advice and recommendations will follow.
If you have any questions regarding your import and export strategy post Brexit please do drop us an email – firstname.lastname@example.org.