With just a few weeks now before the January 1st commencement of Brexit, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty. The Prime Minister is continuing to negotiate terms with Europe, and agreement looks a long way off. While this complicates matters for anyone trying to prepare their business for the upcoming parting of the ways, there are a number of things that as an importer or exporter, you should be doing now to make ready for the imminent changes.
This is our quick guide to preparing your freight processes for Brexit.
Five Things That You Can do Now to Prepare Your Business for Brexit
1. Register for a GB VAT and GB EORI number
The EORI number has historically only been used by businesses operating between the UK and non-EU countries. From January 1st, 2021, it will also become obligatory for any businesses trading between the UK and the EU.
The extra red tape doesn’t take long though. To acquire an EORI number, you just need to fill out the online form. It takes 10 minutes, and you should receive your documentation within a week.
2. Nominate a customs broker to complete your declarations
One thing that’s certain to change in the wake of Brexit is customs procedures. A customs broker can remove the hassle from completing your import and export declarations. If you’re working with Plexus Freight, we can take care of this for you.
3. Ensure your goods have been correctly classified
On January 1st, 2021, the new ‘UK Global Tariff’ will replace the ‘EU Common External Tariff’. You need to be aware of the new commodity codes and ensure that your goods have been correctly classified.
4. Talk to your suppliers
One of the biggest potential supply chain issues that companies will face next year will arise from lack of preparedness from suppliers. To be as certain as possible that your business is not going to be unnecessarily impacted, you need to be talking to your suppliers now. If they haven’t made any preparations, then at least you are forewarned.
5. Consider a UK duty deferment account
Businesses that import goods into the UK will have to pay duties on those goods when they enter the UK following the UK’s departure from the EU. Duty deferment allows for payment of these duties via monthly direct debit. It’s a simpler, budgetable approach.
Things are very much in a state of flux right now, and no doubt new rules and legislation will be implemented any day. But rather than waiting for the finish line, it’s a good idea to start your preparation now – assuming that you haven’t already!
If you’d like to discuss how Plexus Freight can help with your post-Brexit freight strategy, please contact our customer service team today.