Each week we’re listening to the questions that businesses like yours are asking us, and we’re doing all we can to help you to adapt to the changes when trading with the EU.
This week we’re answering some commonly asked questions about:
- Picking up customs duty costs for a recipient
- When you need an EORI number
- What to do, and who to tell, if you want to delay your customs declarations
- When do I need to use the Trader Support Service?
- Where you can find extra help and support
Question: I send sample products by courier to my EU customers from my shop in Great Britain. Can I pick up the VAT and customs duty costs for my customers?
Answer: Normally your courier or parcel operator will collect any customs duty and VAT from your customers before delivering the goods. Most couriers or parcel operators will give you the option to move the goods on a Delivered Duty Paid basis. This will allow you to pay these costs upfront and the courier or parcel operator will deliver the goods without collecting any duty or tax from your customers. To find out more about moving goods on a Delivered Duty Paid Basis, you will need to visit your courier’s or parcel operator’s website for more information.
Question: I run a small non-VAT registered business, do I need an EORI number to move goods for my business between Great Britain and the EU, even if the goods are in my car?
Answer: Yes, all businesses that move goods between Great Britain and other countries (including the EU) must have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
That’s because if you wish to move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Isle of Man, and other countries, you will need it to complete your customs declarations. But don’t forget, you may also need a separate EORI number if you move goods to or from Northern Ireland.
If you don’t have an EORI number, you can find out more and register for free by going to GOV.UK.
If you’re moving your goods between Great Britain and another country in your car, you may be able to use the online declaration service. You’ll find more information about that on GOV.UK.
Question: I think I may want to delay my customs declarations. What do I need to do, and who should I keep informed?
Answer: Up until 1 July 2021, if you import goods from the EU into Great Britain that are not on the controlled goods list, you can choose to delay making your declarations to HMRC for up to 175 days after you import your goods, to allow yourself more time.
You will need to make a simplified declaration in your records to do this. This is called an entry in declarant’s records. This record keeping is really important so that when it’s time to do customs declarations, you have the information to hand.
Before your goods are imported, it’s also important that you tell the person moving your goods whether you are using delayed declarations or not. This is so that your goods are imported following the correct procedures.
You can find out more at ‘Delaying declarations for EU goods brought into Great Britain‘.
Question: When do I need to use the Trader Support Service?
Answer: If you move goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol, you should register for the free Trader Support Service (TSS) at ‘Sign up for the Trader Support Service‘ if you have not done so already. There are now more than 33,000 businesses registered for this service, which has handled over 150,000 goods consignments since 1 January 2021. The service was updated on 15 February 2021 to enhance its alignment with HMRC systems, this means that you can now make supplementary declarations. Help and guidance on how and when to make supplementary declarations is available through the Trader Support Service.
Where to find help and support about importing and exporting
We’re providing information across a variety of channels, to make sure you have the support you need to keep your business moving. Here’s some of the support that’s available for you on GOV.UK.
A step-by-step guide to importing goods into the UK
If you import goods into the UK, this step-by-step guide will tell you how to bring goods into the UK from any country, including how much tax and duty you’ll need to pay and whether you need a licence or certificate. Find out more at ‘Import goods into the UK: step by step‘.
A step-by-step guide to exporting goods from the UK
If you export goods from the UK, this step-by-step guide will explain how to move goods from the UK to international destinations, including the EU. Find out more at ‘Export goods from the UK: step by step‘.
Importing goods into the UK and re-exporting to an EU country – process flowchart
Use our new flowchart to help you find out if the goods you want to re-export to the EU will be eligible for preferential rates of duty or for Returned Goods Relief in the EU instead.
Give us a call
Our customer service advisors are available to answer your queries on the Customs and International Trade helpline. They’ll help you with importing, exporting and customs reliefs. The helpline is open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm at weekends. Call to speak to an advisor on 0300 322 9434.
We will continue to deliver guidance and support to help you and your business, including information on GOV.UK, our popular live webinars and through this weekly trader update.
Katherine Green & Sophie Dean, Directors General, Borders and Trade, HMRC