UKWA – the United Kingdom Warehousing Association – has welcomed the government’s recently published guidance for British businesses on trading with the EU in the event that a Brexit deal cannot be reached.
Three HMRC notices, covering Customs & Excise, VAT for Business and UK Trade Tariffs, were published on 23 August following extensive and on-going consultation by the government with UKWA, together with other trade associations and industry bodies.
The guidelines echo UKWA’s long-standing message to its members that it is essential to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario and particularly so for those businesses that have only ever traded with EU and are not familiar with Rest Of World (ROW) customs processes.
Specifically, UKWA’s advice to its members includes:
• Get goods classified and start showing the tariff number on commercial invoices;
• Make sure you are VAT registered;
• Explore AEO (Authorised Economic Operator);
• Talk to your bank about a deferment account.
“Our specialist advisor on customs, Barbara Scott, has highlighted one benefit to come out of a no deal scenario – namely, that we would have postponed accounting for VAT for EU and non-EU trade – ie. VAT accounted for but not actually paid. This is positive news for UK importers and will provide a nice one-off cash flow injection into businesses,” said CEO, Peter Ward.
He added: “UKWA will continue to lobby that this should be applied even if a deal is reached on Brexit, as this has been a longstanding discussion since it was originally removed some years ago.”
UKWA’s members are urged to contact the Association for further information and support in preparing for Brexit, while non-members are invited to join UKWA to access the specialist advice and practical guidance they require as Brexit approaches.
Photo: UKWA CEO, Peter Ward