No-deal importing

We look at how importing from the EU will work in the event of no-deal, what you must do now and what will happen from the 1st November, if no-deal is agreed.

As the likelihood of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on 31st October 2019 seems to be ever increasing, we want to ensure our clients have registered for TSP.

Unless you are a very infrequent importer, and regardless of the goods you bring in to the UK from the EU, we recommend you sign up for Temporary Simplified Procedure (TSP) this will stop your imports from the EU being delayed and make your life a lot simpler.

Most EU goods qualify for TSP and certain controlled goods still qualify but will require a frontier declaration.

If you are uncertain which of these processes would suit you best, contact us directly for free and impartial advice

Around 87% of tariff items from the EU will be duty-free, but we would urge you most strongly to classify your goods. Or, if in doubt, seek our help to get a definitive ruling from HMRC.

Check your commodity codes and cross-reference these to your product to identify the right code, to avoid paying too much duty, or worse, not paying enough and facing a retrospective demand and penalties.

TSP is the easiest solution but if you do not qualify, we can use our CFSP approval, or pre-lodge your import entry prior to UK arrival. TSP goods will move from arrival port/airport straight to your premises.

Import VAT will be handled through your VAT return and will not need to be paid at the time of presenting the import declaration, but if your import is dutiable you will need a method of payment.

This can be your own Customs deferment account, or you can use ours for a small fee.

After you’ve imported the goods, you’ll need to update your commercial records with the date and approximate time the goods arrived in the UK. HMRC doesn’t specify what constitutes commercial records but a spreadsheet which is properly maintained and updated would be acceptable.

You’ll also need to send a supplementary declaration by the fourth working day of the month following the arrival of the goods into the UK

Under TSP you may opt to delay submission of the supplementary declaration until at least 5th May 2020, after which these reports will be required every month.

To summarise there are three types of customs declarations to goods into the UK:
1. Full Customs Declaration – To be pre-lodged in HMRC System (CHIEF / CDS)
2. Simplified Frontier Declaration – To be pre-lodged in HMRC System (TSP or existing CFSP)
3. Entry in the Declarants Records (EIDR) – This is a simpler method as it does not require the information to be submitted into a HMRC system at the time of import. Instead the Customs Declaration is made within Trader’s commercial records before the goods cross the border.

Remember to keep records, though, if TSP is needed, the customs reporting will come under Entry Into Declarations Records.

The information required under EIDR is:

  • Unique reference number for the consignment
  • Description of the goods
  • Commodity code
  • Quantity of goods
  • Purchase invoice number
  • Sales invoice number (if available)
  • The Customs value (you will need to calculate this if the freight and insurance are not already included in the invoice price)
  • Delivery details
  • Supplier emails
  • Serial numbers of any certificates or licenses

There is a slightly different procedure for “controlled” goods subject to import licences, permits or other special provisions such as excise goods.

Check your EU supplier has an EU EORI or they won’t be able to export their goods to you.

If you are buying under ExWorks terms this could be an issue as legally you, the UK buyer, should be sorting out the export customs declaration so you may need an EU as well as UK EORI.

Consider amending contracts now to at least FCA Seller’s Premises (this makes the EU supplier responsible for the export declaration).

Buying Delivered Duties Paid (DDP) from an EU supplier – unless they have a UK EORI they won’t be able to register for TSP or arrange the self-assessment for VAT. Consider changing to DAP Buyer’s Premises at least so you are responsible for the import clearance and can use TSP.