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HMRC

HMRC have published an article to help businesses to get ready for Brexit

After Brexit there will be changes that affect businesses and hauliers across the UK.

Make sure you are prepared for them, particularly if your business:

Imports goods
Exports goods
Receives personal data
Exports services

The Department for Business is holding a series of free face-to-face Business Readiness Events across the UK, to help businesses find out what actions they need to take to prepare for Brexit. The events include support and advice stands, with in-depth sessions led by subject matter experts from across government, including Defra, HMRC, Home Office and DCMS.

You will find out more about a range of issues, including:

the importing and exporting of goods and services
transferring data
employing EU citizens

To sign up to an event please go here:

https://registration.livegroup.co.uk/brexitbusinessreadin…/…

Please contact us if we can help – Brexit is happening on the 31st October so preparation is key.

low tariffs after brexit

Post-Brexit freeport ‘gateway to prosperity’ plan comes under fire

Questions continue to be raised over the announcement that the UK government intends to establish a series of freeports across the country after Brexit.

Trade secretary Liz Truss called on airports and ports to bid for the scheme, saying: “Freedoms transformed London’s Docklands in the 1980s, and Freeports will do the same for towns and cities across the UK.

Claims yesterday by prime minister Boris Johnson that the UK would become a “world leader” on the freeport scene have also been questioned by industry experts.

Drewry’s senior analyst for ports and terminals, Neil Davidson, said it made a freeport sound like a “panacea” for business.

“From what I can tell, no real, proper research has been conducted and there seems to be no idea what markets or sectors the scheme intends to target,” he said.

“Looking at it from a common sense point of view, and from the market perspective, I cannot see it working – at least not without more details.”

Up to 10 freeports are planned, with an advisory panel comprising business owners, economists, ministers and technology experts making the selections.

In the 1990s, the UK had a series of freeports operating and, while one source claimed these had “failed”, Mr Davidson was more complimentary.

“To say they failed is a bit harsh; they had a very specific purpose – for example at Tilbury the purpose was to provide a way around a quota that existed for imports of North American plywood,” he said.

“Shippers’ costs were climbing, and the freeports allowed them to import in bulk and hold and release the wood as and when needed ,without exceeding the quota.

“These freeports worked because they targeted a very specific market and had very specific needs and advantages – those announced by the government last week don’t point to any market.”

As a result, Mr Davidson said he struggled to see the upside, noting that while tax benefits were the main draw, they were also “expected” and won’t on their own make a freeport competitive.

He also pointed to the high cost of labour, land, and utilities as negatives against the UK’s attractiveness.

“Freeports thrive on being cheap to operate, so knowing which ports and the regions the UK intends to compete against is vital for any gateway bidding for this,” Mr Davidson added.

“If it’s Jebel Ali, the cost of labour there is far lower, and if the UK is targeting EU markets, Tangier is a far more cost-effective option. On top of this, if we look at the ports being put forward, some are the ones with the weakest shipping connectivity.”

The decision to pursue the freeports initiative appears driven by the UK’s new prime minister desire to stick to the latest Brexit deadline, and Ms Truss added: “We will have a truly independent trade policy after we leave the EU on 31 October 31.

“I look forward to working with the Freeports Advisory Panel to create the world’s most advanced freeport model and launch the new ports as soon as possible.”

Mayor of Tees Valley, set to bid for the scheme, Ben Houchen has championed freeports and welcomed the initiative.

“Teesport played a crucial role in this nation’s historic trading past, and is key to our great trading future,” he said. “Creating a freeport right here would turbocharge jobs and growth, bringing investment into the region and making us a global hub of enterprise and innovation.”

Source: The Loadstar

HMRC

Transitional Simplified Procedures

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has written to 145,000 VAT-registered businesses trading with the EU about simplified importing procedures and also updated them on the actions that they need to take to prepare.

Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for customs will make importing easier for an initial period of one year, should we leave the EU without a deal, to allow businesses time to prepare for usual import processes.

Once businesses are registered for TSP, they will be able to transport goods from the EU into the UK without having to make a full customs declaration at the border, and will be able to postpone paying any import duties.

Treasury Minister, Mel Stride MP, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:

Leaving the EU with a deal remains the government’s top priority. This has not changed. However, a responsible government must plan for every eventuality, including a no deal scenario. Businesses and citizens should ensure they are similarly prepared for leaving the EU.

HMRC is helping businesses get prepared and, amongst other significant communications, has written 3 times to affected businesses, each time stepping up the advice and encouraging them to take action.

This latest letter, and new GOV.UK guidance, announces Transitional Simplified Procedures for EU trade which will ease the transition, especially for businesses new to the rules associated with importing.

The new procedures reduce the amount of information importers need to give in an import declaration when the goods are crossing the border. They do this by allowing importers to defer:

  • giving a full declaration until after the goods have crossed the border
  • paying any duty until the month after import

If tariffs apply to the goods that they import, and they want to use transitional simplified procedures, they will need to defer paying any import duties by setting up a direct debit.

HMRC is also reminding businesses to get an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number if they do not already have one. This number is crucial to be able to trade after we leave the EU (if we leave without a deal). It’s free and takes just 10 minutes to register online.

TSP will remain in place for more than a year to give businesses time to prepare to use the full customs processes that already apply to imports from non-EU countries.

The policy will be reviewed within 3 to 6 months after it’s introduced on 29 March 2019 to see how it’s working.

HMRC will consult with businesses and give them at least a 12-month notice period before withdrawing the easements in TSP and applying the usual customs processes to imports from the EU. This will give businesses enough time to prepare.

Businesses can register for TSP from 7 February 2019.

Businesses can register for TSP if they:

  • have an EORI number
  • are established in the UK
  • are importing goods from the EU into the UK

Read the full guidance on registering for simplified import procedures if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

You can see the letter sent to 145,000 VAT registered businesses that trade with the EU, and previous letters on GOV.UK.

 

low tariffs after brexit

HMRC outlines phased approach for Entry Summary Declarations

The government has announced plans to phase in for EU imports the pre-arrival forms known as Entry Summary Declarations, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Officials on Monday held a series of meetings with organisations who represent the haulage industry and handle a significant portion of the UK’s cross border trade, to confirm that from 29 March, the status quo will be temporarily maintained as they will not need to submit Entry Summary Declarations on imports for a period of six months.

Currently Entry Summary Declarations are not required when importing goods from the EU. They will continue to apply for trade from the rest of the world.

The measure is designed to give business more time to prepare for changes to EU-UK trade arrangements in the event that the UK leaves without a deal. This builds on the plans that Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) can be used for at least 15 months for customs declarations.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride MP said:

We’ve listened to businesses and are responding to their concerns.

We have been adamant that in the event of no deal, trade must continue at our borders, and we will continue to make our borders secure.

Maintaining continuity with the current system for the first six months and phasing Entry Summary Declarations in will ensure we deliver on that promise.

The new rules only apply to goods coming from the EU, and will maintain the status quo for carriers. Importers will still be required to submit import declarations for customs purposes – which are not the same as Entry Summary Declarations. HMRC announced ways of making these import declarations easier, through Transitional Simplified Procedures on 4 February 2019.

After the six-month transitional period, carriers will be legally responsible for ensuring Entry Summary Declarations are submitted pre-arrival to HMRC at the time specified by mode of transport.

The measure will not change the UK’s commitment to ensuring our borders remain secure in the event of a no deal and Border Force will continue to carry out intelligence-led checks. A Readiness Task Force in preparation for EU Exit is being recruited and Border Force is on track to increase staff headcount by 900 at the end of March 2019.

The UK’s approach to dangerous goods coming into the UK is not affected.

Pauline Bastidon, FTA’s Head of Global & European Policy, said:

“Today’s HMRC announcement on the temporary waiver of security and safety declarations for post-Brexit logistics movements is a great response to FTA’s campaigning over the past two years, and a positive step towards minimising disruptions on trade between the UK and EU and integrated supply chains after Brexit. However, it is imperative that the UK government maintains pressure on the EU to ensure that a similar waiver is adopted by the EU. To ensure that Britain can keep trading efficiently, it is vital that the European Commission and UK agree a longer term, more sustainable arrangement to remain in the same security zone, which would make safety and security declarations for UK-EU trade irrelevant.  Above all, it is vital that the UK’s supply chain remains as frictionless as possible – British business needs to be confident that goods and materials will continue to transit the nation’s borders as swiftly and efficiently as possible.

Sources: www.gov.uk / fta.co.uk

low tariffs after brexit

A no deal Brexit could cause problems for haulage

As few as 1,224 UK hauliers could be eligible to transport goods to the EU if the country departs the union without a deal in place.

Logistics industry representatives say a UK-EU agreement on road transport must be prioritised over a trade deal.

Yesterday the UK government issued a series of technical notices outlining the situation in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which admitted that UK driving licences would no longer be valid on continental Europe’s road without an accompanying international driving permit (IDP).

The government said it was “seeking to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with the EU to cover the continued recognition and exchange of UK licences after exit”.

It added that if this approach failed it would pursue individual agreements with EU countries. However, it confirmed that EU licence holders would not be required to hold an IDP when operating in the UK.

Lorry drivers could be forced to obtain permits for the countries they visit, similar to those already used to drive in some states in the United States or Japan.

Despite reports that French Authorities may stop cross channel rail services as well as refuse UK aircraft permission to transit its air space, the Freight Transport Association said priority must be given to ensuring the haulage sector was able to continue operating.

Pauline Bastidon, head of European policy, said: “The UK’s logistics sector is the beating heart of the economy, and one on which most businesses rely for goods, services, raw materials and ingredients.  Without secure, safe and timely logistics movements between the UK and the EU, on which many schools, hospitals, shops and other businesses have come to rely, they will find it difficult to source goods in the short to medium term, while new trading arrangements are confirmed.

“That would create the very real risk of shortages and empty shelves.

“The priority now must be to secure a new UK-EU road transport agreement; an even more urgent priority than a trade deal.  Without permits there will be no trucks, and without them, no trade.”

She welcomed the proposal for a new UK-EU agreement on licences, but explained that even with this in place, the administrative burden on the industry would be enormous.

“These would still impose unwelcome burdens and cost on British hauliers seeking to acquire the necessary permits and there is no reassurance in the ‘No Deal’ papers that there would be sufficient to cover all transport moving to and fro across the UK’s borders.

“There is still a large amount to do to keep Britain trading efficiently with its biggest customer, the EU, and to suggest that these are processes which can be implemented swiftly would be to ignore the complexity of a huge administrative task now being placed on the UK’s freight industry.”

Far worse, however, would be a no-deal situation in which every UK haulier needed an IDP to operate in Europe, she said, given the lack of capacity on the part of UK authorities to issue the permits.

“The fact that the UK driving licence would only be accepted in partnership with an international driving permit would create delays and confusion for many operators, some of whom may not even be aware that they would require additional paperwork.

“Of real concern is that these permits would not be available to purchase at every post office, (the papers suggest 2,500 outlets, rather than the full network), and will not be on sale until 1 February, leaving operators little time to undertake the necessary administration ahead of Brexit day.

“At this point, we expect only 1,224 permits to be made available to UK hauliers every year if they wish to travel to the European Union. That number pales into insignificance when you consider that the port of Dover can handle up to 10,000 vehicle movements a day,” she said, adding that this could effectively break supply chains between the UK and Europe.

“Without a significant improvement in the planned number of accepted permits for HGVs travelling across the border, there is a very real threat to the integrity of the UK’s supply chain, and delays and product shortages could be a reality while alternative suppliers are sourced and arranged,” Ms Bastidon said.

Source: The Loadstar / The Independent

low tariffs after brexit

Low tariffs post Brexit for British Manufacturers and Retailers

According to the Freight Transport Association (FTA) the government’s commitment (announced on 26 June 2017) to securing existing duty free access to UK markets for 48 of the world’s developing nations will ensure that British manufacturers and retailers can continue to trade efficiently and profitably. These agreements should ensure that the price of household items, ranging from textiles to tea, can be maintained at pre-Brexit levels.

Alex Veitch, Head of Global Policy at FTA says “Imports of many of our staple household items, which reach our shores in bulk shipments from around the globe, currently benefit from reduced or zero tariff agreements.  These keep prices stable, both for retailers and for manufacturers – a key requirement when other areas of the economy are currently more volatile.  FTA lobbying of government has been relentless in the past year on behalf of the members of the British Shippers’ Council, to ensure that their opinions have been considered, and we look forward to working with the Department for International Trade in the coming months to ensure that the nation’s shopping basket continues to be as affordable as possible.”

Since the EU referendum announcement, FTA has met representatives from the Department for International Trade on three occasions to discuss the priorities of the logistics sector.  “Today’s announcement is good news for British retailers, and great for developing countries.  Trade policy is set by EU member states, so after Brexit the UK will be free to chart its own course.  By committing to a policy of duty-free access to UK markets for these states, the government has stated its intentions to ensure that Britain will keep on trading outside the European Union.

As an EU member, the UK and companies based here can sell their goods freely to customers anywhere else in the EU without those customers having to pay additional taxes to import those goods. British consumers and companies can also import from elsewhere in the EU without tariffs.  The EU also has agreements allowing free trade with countries such as Norway, Switzerland, South Africa and South Korea. Outside the EU, the UK will need to strike new deals in order to have free trade with those countries or the remaining EU members.

According to analysis by Civitas, if the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal UK exporters could face the potential impact of £5.2 billion in tariffs on goods being sold to the EU. However, EU exporters will also face £12.9 billion in tariffs on goods coming to the UK.

Brexit is still making its mark on the logistics industry, and the period of uncertainly means that global trade is at a transition. The UK will have to feel its way, and hope that the agreements made stay in place to ensure that we are in a strong position to trade.