Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced new plans to help businesses that trade with Europe prepare for October 31 2019. He said:
“As the government accelerates its preparation to leave the EU on 31st October, it’s right businesses are prepared too.
There can be no time for delay which is why HMRC has allocated thousands of businesses with a trading number to ensure they can continue to trade their goods through Europe from day one.
This will help ease the flow of goods at border points and support businesses to trade and grow.”
As part of a £2.1 billion cash injection announced on 31 July, border and customs operations will receive an additional £344m to be ready for Brexit, including by hiring more border officers, doubling the support available for customs agents, and improving transport infrastructure around ports.
HMRC is stepping up efforts to ensure businesses are ready to trade post-Brexit by automatically enrolling companies in an important customs system and doubling the numbers registered. More than 88,000 VAT registered companies across the UK will be allocated an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number in the next two weeks in order to keep trading with customers and suppliers in the EU after the UK has left.
EORI numbers are a unique ID number allocated to businesses that enables them to be identified by Customs authorities when doing business with other traders. If businesses do not have an EORI number post-Brexit, they will be unable to continue to trade with EU Member States.
Some businesses have recently applied for an EORI number and others, who trade outside the EU, will have already have an EORI number.
If a business is not VAT-registered, it will still need to register for an EORI number if it wants to trade with customers and suppliers in EU Member States. Information on how to register can be found here
After getting an EORI number, businesses will need to decide whether to complete customs declarations themselves, or employ a customs agent to do this. If employing a customs agent, businesses will need to supply their EORI number. Information to inform this decision can be found here
Traders also need to decide whether to apply for Transitional Simplified Procedures to make it easier to import goods from the EU. Find out how to register here