The following is a compilation of the Brexit checklist shared with Norman Global Logistics clients last week and is intended to provide a summary of the most important actions and issues you need to know in the run up to a potential no-deal Brexit.

If the UK leaves the EU on the 29th March 2019, without a ratified withdrawal agreement, there will be an immediate imposition of full customs procedures under World Trade Organization rules for all goods moving to and from the EU.

1. Economic Operators’ Registration & Identification number
If you do not already trade with non EU countries, you need to immediately register for an EORI number.

2. Product classifications
Both import & export declarations will need tariff classification of all goods, it is therefore necessary to ensure that all products are assigned the correct tariff code. The coding will also show potential duty rates, which will aid your cashflow planning. Incorrect coding may lead to penalties, so please do consult us if you are uncertain, which codes apply.

3. Documentation
Commercial invoices & packing lists, for all consignments, must contain essential information to enable the preparation of Customs declarations and safety information*. This will include full descriptions and quantities ie weights and sometimes a second quantity like m3, plus the origin of goods, and the tariff codes.
*See our update on Entry Summary Declarations

4. Duty & VAT payments
Customs will introduce postponed accounting for EU and non-EU import VAT, which means that VAT registered businesses will be able to account for all import VAT on their VAT return rather than paying at frontier. Duty will still be paid at UK border via a deferment account, as is currently the case with non-EU goods.

5. Other Customs processes and regimes
HMRC have published a summary of Customs procedures and simplified customs processes for UK businesses trading with the EU in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. HMRC will write to tell you what you need to do if you’re an existing authorisation holder.

6. Useful HMRC links

In essence UK businesses will need to apply the same processes to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world, which means that if you already trade goods outside the EU, you do not need to take any of the actions set out here. We would still recommend familiarising yourself with these developments.