This section contains resources and links to help you support your customers, members and clients for the possibility of a ‘no deal’ scenario.
These guides set out the step-by-step process that businesses will need to follow when importing from or exporting to the EU, in a ‘no deal’ scenario. These are available both in plain text and as a flowchart pdf, and the information is the same in both.
The government has published technical notices across a range of topics, including customs and VAT, on GOV.UK – 106 by the end of October 2018. These notices explain the changes that would apply if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019 (may also apply to new exit date on 31 December 2020).
Read all the published technical notices on GOV.UK.
Guidance for UK businesses that trade with the EU
HMRC has published further guidance on GOV.UK on 4 December on declaring your goods at customs if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.
This guidance sets out an overview plus useful details on:
- making a declaration
- getting help from third parties
- software providers
- the National Export System
- VAT, Excise and Customs Duty on goods you import or export
- further information
However, if you only import or export goods with Ireland across the Northern Ireland–Ireland land border, you do not need to take any of the actions set out here. Instead, you can disregard it. HMRC will write to you again with information about the arrangements for trading with Ireland.
HMRC letters to support EU-only traders
HMRC has published on GOV.UK on 4 December letters it sent to 145,000 VAT-registered businesses only trading with the EU that explain changes to customs, excise and VAT in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal:
The government has issued an advice and guidance letter to EU-only traders to set out what the UK leaving the EU without a deal would mean for them.
A version of the letter specifically for EU-only traders in Northern Ireland has been issued, which addresses trade in goods across the land border with Ireland.
Key messages on the UK border
About the UK border
The UK government has 3 key objectives for the UK border: maintaining security, facilitating the flow of goods and people, and protecting revenue.
The border is a highly complex system with shared responsibility from both the public and private sector.
The UK government is responsible for security checks, passport controls, customs controls on goods and compliance/safety controls (for example, on agrifoods, chemicals, consumer goods, and dangerous goods).
Ports, airports, freight forwarders and customs agents are responsible for border facilities, the handling of goods crossing the border and associated digital services.
Changes at the UK border after a ‘no deal’ EU Exit
In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal in March 2019, the free circulation of goods between the UK and EU would cease.
The UK will continue to be a member of both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Customs Organization (WCO) and will remain bound by international obligations that govern international trade in goods.
The UK government recognises the importance of trade through the UK’s key ports to the country’s economy, and will ensure that movement across borders is as frictionless as possible.
Businesses would have to apply the same customs and excise rules to goods moving between the UK and the EU as currently apply in cases where goods move between the UK and the rest of the world.
Where physical checks will be required, the UK government will:
- work to enable as many of these as possible to take place away from the border
- minimise any changes to the duties and controls covering what goods are bought into the UK
- provide continuity and minimise additional requirements on goods which are subject to specific controls and processes, such as regulatory product requirements
Arrangements for handling customs and other controls already exist at many border locations. The UK government works closely with organisations responsible for these, including airports and container ports, to help them effectively manage the necessary changes.
For some border locations where trade is largely EU-based in high volume, such as Eurotunnel and roll-on roll-off ports, additional changes will be needed in the long term. The UK government is working closely with the stakeholders responsible for these locations to ensure this.