Brexit is a fast-approaching reality, which demands prudent preparation if your European supply chain is to continue operating with minimal disruption. These two simple, inexpensive actions will start that process.

While politicians continue to play down the likelihood of a hard Brexit, they have begun the process of producing guidance papers which outline how trade will be affected if no deal is reached.

The European Union have been producing similar papers – Preparedness notices – for some time and have built up a substantial library, dwarfing our own government’s efforts.

One of the consequences of a hard Brexit (and possibly even a softer one) will be Customs declarations for all European movements.

Which is why the guidance paper’s recommendations for the no-deal route is the need for importers and exporters to have an EORI number and prepare to pay duty or excise duty.

Norman Global Logistics can guide you on implementing either, or both, of these initiatives

The likely scenario is that EU Customs declarations will not be required at the port of arrival and might be submitted retrospectively, subject to the EORI number being declared upon arrival.

Almost 200,000 UK companies only trade with Europe, which means they have not submitted full Customs entries and consequently will not have the Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) Number they will need.

There is no extra administration in having an EORI number, it just means that you will be ready to carry on trading regardless.

If you do not currently have this in place, we can sort it out and make the application on your behalf, for a small fee.

With limited HMRC resource in place to deal with applications it would be prudent to take action, before the inevitable rush.

In terms of potential duty and excise duty liabilities, we would recommend an audit of your EU imports to assess the values and potential applicable tax rates, to assess the full cashflow implications of paying 20% VAT and duty – possibly in advance of arrival.

We can work with you to identify the appropriate Custom’s classifications and associated tax rates.

We can also advise your duty deferment options, with a view to set up active accounts when Brexit outcomes are more established.

See the UK government guidance

See the EU Preparedness notices