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VAT & Customs

1. Understand the potential impact on your supply chain

 Ensure you have reviewed your supply chain to understand the potential impact of a customs and VAT frontier on the movement of your goods. Ensure hauliers and freight forwarders are prepared with the relevant permits and registrations. 

2. Have you tried our Customs impact assessment tool?

 Using our tool, our team can produce a bespoke report setting out the key Customs Duty and VAT impacts from Brexit based on your actual data from the last 12 months. We can then meet with you to talk through the analysis and identify the key priority areas for your business.

3. Contracts

Assess whether the terms of your contracts (especially incoterms) with your suppliers and customers meet your needs post Brexit, in particular who is responsible for import clearance and any duties arising. Incoterms are internationally recognised trade terms that define each party’s obligations, costs and risks associated with the delivery of goods from seller to buyer. 

4. Obtain an EORI number

To operate within a customs regime, importers and exporters of goods need to be customs registered. If not already registered, an application should be filed with Revenue via Revenue’s Online Service (ROS) for an EORI (Customs) number if you are importing goods into or exporting goods from Ireland. 

5. Customs Classification

The rate of Duty arising on goods depends on their Customs classification. Ensure you have confirmed the commodity codes for all goods moving into and out of the UK and vice versa and you understand the potential tariff implications associated with the movement of your goods.

6. Filing Customs declarations

Consider how you will file Customs declarations for your export or import of goods. Most declarations are filed by Customs agents/freight companies on behalf of traders. Depending on your profile, you may prefer to bring the declaration process “in-house”. Make sure you understand the information needed to file Customs declarations and where you will get it.

7. Export/import controls

Understand whether any additional controls will apply to your goods such as licensing requirements, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls or advance notification requirement (e.g. for agri products). 

8. Deferment account/Customs guarantee

 Ensure you have access to a Customs deferment account if you want to defer the payment of Customs duty and VAT to the 15th day of the month following the month of import of the goods. The lead in time to obtain such approval can be at least two months and a guarantee is needed.

9. Use of Customs reliefs /simplifications

Make sure you are aware of the reliefs and simplifications available such as customs warehousing, inward processing relief, transit which could mitigate the impact of Brexit on your business in Ireland or the UK. A guarantee is often required to avail of some reliefs so apply early.

10. UK and NI temporary measures

Consider if any of the temporary Customs relieving measures the UK Government have announced in respect of imports into the UK could assist your business. These measures are designed to reduce the potential for Customs duty and delays at import to arise. Note the special rules the UK government have announced for movements of goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland. 

11. VAT

Determine if any additional VAT considerations will arise from your movement of goods post Brexit, e.g. additional VAT registration requirements. New VAT measures to be introduced in the event of a No Deal Brexit should relieve the VAT funding cost of imports for VAT registered businesses in Ireland and the UK. Familiarise yourself with how these rules will operate. 

12. Impact on ERP/finance system

Assess what changes may be required to you ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or finance systems in anticipation of a changed VAT and Customs Duty accounting regime post Brexit.

Other areas

1. Markets and cash flows

Explore new markets and opportunities and understand the security of supply chains. Review cash flows, working capital and foreign exchange exposures and consider what actions may be required.

2. People

Communicate with staff who could be affected by changes in their rights to reside and work and consider what actions need to be taken to ensure such rights will continue post Brexit. 

3. Data flows

Review data flows and consider if restrictions will apply to the movement of personal data from the EU to the UK and whether any derogations can be obtained or arrangements put in place to facilitate the ongoing transmission of such data. 

4. Services

Understand the impact of Brexit on the movement of services between Ireland and the UK. For many regulated businesses, preparation will already be at an advanced stage but consideration should be given to the impact of Brexit on the movement of non-regulated services. For example, where the provision of services require the movement of data, recognition of professional qualifications, etc. these requirements may act as a barrier to the provision of such services.

5. Tax impact of intragroup payments

For companies operating through group structures that include UK tax resident companies, consider the tax treatment of dividends, interest and other payments to / from EU Member States post Brexit and whether making such prior to the expected Brexit deadline / restructuring group operations may be beneficial from a tax perspective.