A lot of people ask me how companies should prepare for Brexit. There is no simple answer to this, of course, but I usually suggest that they start taking the following actions.
1. Secure the necessary means to make import and export declarations
In the case of post Brexit UK imports, the requirement to lodge declarations will be suspended for a year under Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP). However, it would be a mistake to register and then delay reporting the information. There remains an import VAT reporting requirement and it is better to file declarations as imports are made rather than look to recreate the necessary import record after 12 months.
With regard to UK exports, if you do not secure a broker your goods will not be able to leave the country. There is little capacity in the system and less than 50% of companies have secured the services of a broker. If you haven’t already, make sure that you are not one of the tens of thousands of companies that will be left hunting down an agent at the last minute. In such a situation, it is certain that prices will rise.
2. Identify the gaps in your systems and data
Ensure that you are able to provide the information and paperwork necessary to clear your goods at the border. If necessary, seek expert advice, e.g. in relation to the customs classification of your goods and any licensing requirements.
3. Customs training
UK government has recently announced extra funding so don’t miss the opportunity to train your staff. Visit the UK Customs Academy (www.ukcustomsacademy.com), funded by HM Treasury, where most courses are subject to 100% grants from UK Government.
Read more and check out our services at the KGH Brexit Hub.