Repeating its recent allocation of EORI numbers to 90,000 firms, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has now subscribed 95,000 businesses to its simplified TSP import procedures which will be put in place should the UK leave the EU without an agreement on October 31st.
Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP), is intended to make importing after Brexit on 31 October much simpler, particularly for businesses that have only been trading with the EU and who would be completing customs processes for the first time.
TSP allow most businesses up to six months to send in customs declarations and pay any customs duties to HMRC after importing goods from the EU, to avoid congestion at the border when goods enter the UK.
Up to now, businesses have had to apply to use the scheme, but with only 25,000 registering, HMRC has taken action to extend its reach to some 95,000 operators.
The government says it has chosen to automatically enrol VAT-registered businesses who import from the EU into the TSP scheme as it is the best option for businesses who are new to customs processes and have not yet appointed a customs agent. Businesses who are not registered for VAT should apply for the scheme if it would benefit them.
We strongly recommend that any firms uncertain about which Brexit import process is best for them, to contact us directly, so we can explain their options.
Under TSP, traders can choose to delay making declarations until 6 May 2020, giving them more time to get used to new processes. If they choose to delay making declarations until 6 May 2020, payment for the duties they owe will be taken by direct debit on 15 May 2020. Traders should prepare to account for the import VAT on imports on their normal VAT return.
Non-VAT registered traders who import goods from the EU are also encouraged to register for TSP. HMRC is developing a new online service which will let them report and pay import VAT on a quarterly import VAT return if they choose to delay making declarations until 6 May 2020. This service will be available to sign up for after Brexit.
Businesses registered for TSP today are UK-based traders who HMRC has a record of having imported goods from the EU in 2018.
We recommend that all firms check if their goods attract tariffs, and if they do, talk to us about using our deferment to make sure that they are ready for 31 October.
Firms do not have to use TSP: they still also have the option to use full import processes instead.