Countdown to Brexit: Your Business Checklist

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Countdown to Brexit: Your Business Checklist

Working with a wide variety of business including many in Logistics, freight and retail sectors, S9 Tech have been helping to prepare for Brexit which is scheduled on 31st October at 11pm.  We have been working hard implementing our Duties etc. software to limit the effects on business processes as this comes into effect. Our recent blog looked at the effect of a No Deal Brexit specifically in this area.


But we have also been advising our clients on other aspects of Brexit that will effect IT systems in the months to come.  There are still so many unknowns, especially whilst it remains unclear if the UK will leave having signed a withdrawal deal with the EU or not. That said, either way, Brexit is likely to impact on your business in the short and long term – even if you do not trade internationally –  from your supply chain through to tax and VAT implications. International trade is at the top of the list of concerns for many businesses and rightly so.

The clock is ticking to prepare your business, so in the countdown to Brexit – what does your business need to know?


International trade


Whilst it’s hard to be specific given every business has a different situation, if you’re a business who exports to or imports from the EU, it’s likely you’ll be watching developments closely as a matter of course. There are 2 potential outcomes:


Withdrawal Agreement (Deal):


A Transition Agreement will be in place from the point the UK leaves the EU until the end of 2020 (or longer if extended), during which UK businesses will be able to import and export under existing arrangements, free of tariffs. After this period, it is envisaged that the terms of a yet to be negotiated trade deal will come into effect. These could include the introduction of new duties, customs declarations and documentation.


No Deal:


With no Withdrawal Agreement in place, the UK will leave the EU on 31 October 2019, will be outside the single market and World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules will apply with no transitional period. Goods will be subject to customs clearance and inspections, while tariffs are expected to be imposed on goods that the UK sends to EU countries and on goods EU countries send to the UK. This is likely to cause increased paperwork, delays and have a knock-on effect on prices for some goods. The government has listed its tariff schedule in the event of a no deal Brexit.


Your Brexit Checklist:


Working with our logistics partners we have been able to assess key upgrades to your processes.  These should include:

Register for a UK and EU EORI number – UK businesses can register here. It only takes 10 minutes to apply.


An Economic Operator Registration and Identification number (EORI) is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses which import or export goods to and from the EU. If the UK leaves the EU with no agreement in place, traders will need a UK EORI number to import or export from the UK to the EU.

EORI numbers are given to importers and exporters by EU country authorities for free. In the future, to trade between the EU and UK, the shipper and receiver will each need to be registered for an EORI in their respective country. UK EORI numbers will not be recognised in the EU. EU EORI numbers will not be accepted in the UK.


Agree Incoterms (terms of delivery) with your customers


It’s a good idea to make sure you have a clear written contract to minimise the risk of misunderstandings. This will include:

  • Where the goods will be delivered
  • Who arranges and pays for the transport
  • Who is responsible for insuring the goods and who pays the insurance premium
  • Who handles customs procedures and who pays duties and taxes.

In the event of a No Deal Brexit, Incoterms will be an important piece of information on the commercial invoice.


Know how to complete commercial invoices and apply for licences and certificates


Every shipment will need a commercial invoice with information for customs authorities. This helps the authorities assess if the goods can move in or out of a country and what, if any, controls are needed. It also helps the authorities determine duties and taxes. It is vital to supply an invoice with the right information as it reduces the potential for delay.


Know how to describe and classify your goods


If you don’t include the HS or commodity code (a list of numbers used to classify a product for taxes and duties and any necessary restrictions) on the commercial invoice and other shipping documents, it could delay the shipment and you risk the receiver paying the incorrect duties and VAT.


You also need to correctly describe (in detail) the item, confirm the origin and also the market value.  You can find out more about this here.


Submit your commercial invoice electronically


Having an automated system for any part of a logistics/ freight movement can avoid customs delays, speed up delivery and reduce paperwork to submit commercial invoices electronically at the point of preparing shipments.


Understand customs & clearance requirements and any duty or VAT implications


It is important that your business understands the duties and VAT implications dependant on whether we leave the EU with a withdrawal agreement or NO Deal. Duties etc. from S9 Tech is a bespoke software perfectly placed to help you not only calculate your duties & VAT, but also collect it from the end customer, and place the payment securely in your bank.  It takes the guesswork out of post Brexit changes, streamlines your processes, and leaves you free to get on with running your business.


Make sure your receivers/importers know about potential changes


Do your receivers and importers know what the local requirements for imports are in their country? Are they aware of the potential import VAT & Duty that they may have to pay? How are you working with your customers to ensure there are no delays at the point of importation? Do you have all the correct details for the completion of export and import declarations? It is important to include your correct address, contact details, phone/mobile number and email details, as well as the same information for your receiver. This will all need to be integrated into your current processes or electronic information.


Talk to us !


If you would like unique advice on how you can prepare your IT infrastructure for Brexit, call us today on   020 8434 3403.