VATLive > Blog > United Kingdom > UK only 20% businesses Brexit customs ready

UK only 20% businesses Brexit customs ready

  • Mar 5, 2019 | Richard Asquith

HMRC has stated that only 20% of UK businesses its estimates will need a customs declaration EORI number following Brexit has applied.

HMRC estimates that 245,000 businesses buy and sell goods with other EU27 states. As part of Brexit, the UK also leaves the Customs Union on 29 March. All movements of goods must be declared for customs, tariffs and VAT. This requires an EORI number (Economic Operator Registration Identification), which is shown on customs declarations etc.

Yesterday, at the 4 March 2019 Public Accounts Committee hearings on HMRC’s preparations for no-deal Brexit, HMRC’s Jon Thomson (Chief Executive) said only 46,616 businesses had applied so far. As a result, HRMC has agreed that Border Agency staff will waive any non-compliant companies after 29 March – but with a warning to register.  This risks creating a simple loophole for customs and import VAT fraud.

In addition, HMRC said EU27 tax authorities are ‘refusing’ to talk to HMRC about their requirements (EORI, duty and import VAT requirements apply there, too). But it is known that the countries are committed to imposing customs controls.


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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: richard.asquith@avalara.com He is part of the European leadership team which this year won International Tax Review's Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
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