by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London
30 August 2019
HM Revenue and Customs has written to VAT-registered businesses that trade with the EU, advising them on how to prepare for changes to customs, excise, and VAT in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The UK has decided to automatically enrol VAT-registered companies into the Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number system and will allocate more than 88,000 companies with an EORI number in the coming weeks.
In a letter to affected businesses, HMRC explains that they will not be able to move goods in and out of the UK without providing an EORI number.
The letter adds that to deal with the customs processes of EU member states, businesses will need to obtain an EU EORI as well. An EU EORI number is valid throughout the EU and is used as a common reference number for interactions with the customs authorities in any member state. This can be obtained from the EU member state with which the business is trading.
The letter, published online by the UK Government, also sets out what businesses should do if they import or export goods once they are in possession of a UK EORI number.
A separate letter is being sent to EU-only traders in Northern Ireland, as they are also automatically being allocated UK EORI numbers. It explains that a UK EORI number will not be needed to move goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland, unless the business is moving controlled or licensed goods, goods subject to excise, or goods that the business wants to declare under a special procedure. HMRC will publish details of the importing process that businesses will need to follow for these goods soon.