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EU/UK Trade Deal

Managing VAT and Customs on trade with the UK

The Brexit transition period ended at 11.00pm on 31 December 2020.

A new VAT and Customs regime is now in place on trade between ROI, GB and NI with Customs governed by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and United Kingdom.   

On Thursday, 21 January 2021 we were joined by speakers from both our Belfast and Dublin offices for a practical session on trading with GB from a VAT and Customs perspective under the new regime.

During the session we focused on: 

  • Three weeks after the end of the transition period what issues are arising and what you need to know now on trade between ROI, NI and GB from Customs and VAT perspective. 
  • How to practically apply the Trade and Cooperation agreement from a Customs perspective and minimise potential disruption to your supply chain and imposition of tariffs.   
  • How to demonstrate and claim origin relief from Tariffs and the potential pitfalls for businesses to manage from both a Customs and VAT perspective, both for those trading regularly and occasionally with GB.
  • Changes to the VAT regime for trading in goods and services between ROI, NI and GB. 


Preparing for VAT changes

Deal or no deal the VAT rules on trade between ROI GB and NI will change from 1 January 2021 and will not be impacted by the ongoing Free Trade negotiations.

The changes will apply primarily to goods traded ROI-GB and GB-NI but also to certain services supplied between GB and ROI and ROI and NI. There will in particular be significant changes to the VAT rules on trade in goods between GB and NI. 

On Tuesday, 15 December we were joined by webinar speakers from both our Belfast and Dublin offices, focusing on:

  • Changes to the VAT regime for trading in goods and services between ROI NI and GB. 
  • The practical impact of these changes for businesses supplying goods and services between ROI, GB and NI and any final actions that may be needed before year end to be ready for these changes.


Managing your mobile workforce

What remote and cross-border challenges will Brexit raise?

This year has challenged business and work practices unlike any we have witnessed before. The 31st December brings with it not only the financial year end for many businesses but significantly, the end to the Brexit transition period. Managing cross-border remote working and the international aspects of your workforce has never been more important.  

Understanding these changes will be important in order to manage employer compliance obligations and minimise the cost impact to the business. But it also provides an opportunity to adapt current employment models and enable access to a global talent pool. 

In this webinar, we explain the key people issues facing employers as a consequence of the UK no longer being a member of the EU as well as the broader impact the pandemic has had on employment models, the talent agenda and corresponding employer compliance obligations.  

We also provide insight on the key actions employers should consider across a number of areas including immigration, social security, remote working and more. 


Brexit: Preparing for VAT and Customs Changes

On 31 December 2020, the VAT and customs rules on trade between Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain will change.  There will be new systems, processes and paperwork requirements, and depending on the outcome of the trade negotiations there may also be tariffs.

Our advice continues to be that businesses should be prepared in advance for these changes –  new rules will apply irrespective of the outcome of the trade negotiations.

On Wednesday 30 September, we hosted a webinar where we focused on the practical implications for business and insights into what this means from a VAT and Customs perspective and were joined by speakers from both KPMG UK and France as well as Thyme-IT, a dedicated customs declaration software provider.

During this session, we addressed:  

  • Latest VAT and Customs updates from Irish Revenue and UK HMRC impacting on ROI/GB trade
  • A closer look at the VAT implications for Irish businesses resulting from Brexit
  • Examining the filing of declarations to move your goods cross-border, including:
    • What forms are required? When do I file? What information and systems do I need?
    • Should I insource or outsource my declaration requirements?
  • The VAT and customs issues Irish businesses will face when moving goods between Ireland, GB and France post-Brexit, including using the land bridge.


July 2020 Brexit webinars

In July 2020, we ran a series of webinars focusing on Brexit and its impact for Irish business. Read more about these webinars and watch the recordings below:


Brexit Preparing for VAT & Customs Changes (NI Businesses)

The decision not to seek an extension of the Transition Period beyond the 31st December 2020 is significant for NI businesses.

This makes it increasingly likely that the existing status quo position will come to an end and new VAT and Customs rules will apply to trading with the rest of the UK from 1 January 2021.

Our Brexit VAT & Customs webinar hosted on the 21st July 2020, with expert speakers from  NI, ROI and GB, outlines the practical implications for NI business and provides insights into what this means from a VAT and Customs perspective including:

  • The key unanswered questions in the Ireland / Northern Ireland Protocol;
  • What VAT and Customs changes will apply for NI businesses from 1 January 2021;
    • Trade with ROI and rest of the EU
    • Trade with GB
    • What will the new Irish Sea border system look like?
  • A review of supply chain scenarios and trade implications;
  • Further complications to trade – Rules of Origin and FTAs;
  • What businesses can do to prepare;
  • Interactive Q&A.


Trading with the UK from 1 January 2021 - New VAT and Customs rules

The decision not to seek an extension of the Transition Period beyond the 31st December 2020 is very significant for businesses, making it increasingly likely that the existing status quo position will come to an end and new VAT and Customs rules will apply to trading with the UK from 1 January 2021.

Our Brexit VAT & Customs webinar hosted on the 7th July 2020, with expert speakers from Ireland and the UK, outlines the practical and important steps businesses should now take to be prepared for the VAT & Customs implications, irrespective of whether an FTA is agreed or not prior to the 31st December 2020. The webinar considers in detail;

  • What VAT and Customs changes will apply from 1 January 2021 in ROI, NI and the UK
  • What should you focus on between now and 1 January 2021 in preparing for these changes
  • What is a Free Trade Agreement and will it matter to you if a deal is reached on a Free Trade Agreement


Brexit Preparations – Time is of the Essence

Whilst acknowledging the challenges many businesses currently face in responding to COVID-19, we recommend that businesses be prepared for the risk of trade with the UK defaulting to WTO terms from 1 January 2021. In particular, we recommend making sure you are ready for customs procedures when dealing with GB - they will be required even if an FTA is agreed. Likewise the publication of papers on the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, the UK’s plans to phase in some customs changes over 6 months, and the UK’s tariff schedule that will apply to GB imports from the EU if there is no FTA are also very important.  

We have monitored Brexit developments closely and in addition to the attached webinar, you might find our following Brexit publications of benefit;

Brexit June 2020  Actions to Take Update– A review of major developments  and specific actions in VAT & Customs and detailed commentary on the UK Global Tariff Schedule and the outstanding issues in respect of the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

Brexit Transition Phase February 2020 - For preparations in the areas of People, Data and Company Law


Get in touch

If you have any queries on how Brexit will affect your business, please get in touch with our dedicated Brexit response team.


Contact our team