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Today we continue our Brexit Essentials Series, which over three instalments, will cover all the important tax, customs, and customer communications changes as a result of Brexit.
In part 1, we discussed taxation changes which you can read here. Part 2 below covers changes to customs arrangements.
In addition to this series, we’ll be participating in special Brexit webinar with taxation specialists Avalara and delivery gurus Shipstation in late April. If you’d like to join, sign up for our newsletter and we’ll let you know when details are available!
If you haven’t already reviewed the UK Government’s Brexit Checker (flagged in our last Brexit Essentials post on taxation) it’s worth doing so now. This hub of information outlines the new rules on things like exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring. The checker will create a personalised list of actions for you, based on the answers you provide to a series of questions.
You can find the Brexit Checker here.
In addition to the overall Brexit Checker, the government also provides a guide to getting UK customs clearance when exporting goods.
This step by step guide covers the following topics and provides links to further information on:
Find the checklist government customs checklist here.
Along with changes to VAT and taxes, UK merchants selling to customers based in the EU also need to factor in new customs arrangements. This may include:
EORI (Economic Operator Registration Identification) numbers are unique ID codes for each exporter and are used to track the movement of products between nations. This enables customs authorities in both the sending and receiving nations to quickly and easily identify different shipments and their origins.
Before Brexit, your UK issued EORI number was accepted on customs declarations by the EU for sales to consumers in the EU but that’s no longer the case. You now need two EORI numbers (and possibly three):
Upon exiting the European Union, the UK also left the EU Customs Regime which means that any UK merchants now selling goods between the UK and EU must complete a customs declarations.
If you’re managing the customs process yourself, the gov.uk website provides a step by step breakdown of how to get UK customs clearance when exporting goods here.
Most countries require the following information on their customs declarations: your VAT registration number, your EORI number, the commodity code (also known as the harmonised or HS number), country of origin, the amount of VAT collected, and the total value of each item in the shipment.
Should you find the customs clearance process too complicated, you can hire a third party to make the export declaration and get your goods through UK customs. There are three options:
For more information, review the gov.uk guidance here.
To ensure your goods move swiftly through customs, you need to add the correct commodity code (also known as a Harmonised Systems or HS codes) for each product you are exporting. This code identifies the amount of VAT and tariffs you need to pay.
Once you have identified the correct commodity code, simply add it and the country of origin to the Shopify admin using the bulk editor or import them with a CSV file.
So now we’ve covered all the key customs changes following Brexit – organising EORI numbers, sorting your custom declarations, and identifying your commodity codes. If you’re needing further information, do review the official government guidance as a starting point. Then, where appropriate, a customs specialist can assist with advice tailored to your business.
In the next and final part of this series, we’ll cover the all important customer communications aspect of Brexit changes. Subscribe to our social channels to be alerted as soon as posts go live.
If you’ve got more questions on how Brexit impacts your eCommerce site, don’t despair! We’re participating in an upcoming Brexit webinar with tax specialists Avalara and shipping experts Shipstation in late April (date to be confirmed). We would love for you to join us!
Fancy joining us? Simply sign up for our newsletter in the footer and we’ll send you details later this month.
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