Prepare for Brexit

June 10, 2020

Despite a global health crisis and a looming economic one, the UK’s destiny of sovereignty from the European Union is creeping ever closer. The 30th June 2020 is red circled on calendars of importers and exporters up and down the country, the prolongation of the Brexit transition period must be declared no later than this date. The message from Whitehall has not changed, there will be no extension and it is “perfectly possible” to reach an agreement on trade and security before the end of the year Michael Gove recently declared.

But we’ve been here before, and not so long ago. The choruses of Get Brexit Done filled up the airwaves in Boris Johnson’s early days of his premiership, his team of creative minds are now entirely absorbed into Covid messaging. But one message has not changed and does not rely on grand slogans, it is businesses must continue to prepare for the end of the transition period no matter what and ChannelPorts will continue to support businesses in their efforts. If the transition period is not extended beyond 31st December 2020 that only leaves 6 months or 129 working days to prepare your business and staff for a completely new world for UK/EU trade, the race is on.

If an FTA agreement is struck, this will not remove customs paperwork. There will be customs arrangements in place with or without an agreement, this is a certainty. The offer of Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) has been removed and will not form any part of future arrangements. So, after all of the preparation that was done over the past couple of years, what small steps can you take now to ensure you are best prepared once the new arrangements are made public.

  • First and foremost, obtain an Economic Operation Registration and Identification (EORI) number for your business. This will be your unique identifying number in any EU member state.
  • If necessary, set up a duty deferment account.
  • Ensure you have the correct classification code for your goods.
  • Distinguish the difference between each incoterm and which one suits your business best.
  • Assess your technical and human capacity, do you have the right IT systems and trained staff in place?
  • Will you use a customs agent to prepare the paperwork on your behalf? Find a reputable agent with the expertise and capacity to look after your requirements.

Our experienced team of customs professionals understand the administration and challenges that lie ahead for many companies. We recognise the importance of partnership and our phone lines are open to discovering how we can assist you, check off some of the daunting tasks now and not at the last minute.

By Tom Sommer