New Brexit guidance for importers and exporters


Tony Cochrane

Tony Cochrane

VAT Senior Manager


HMRC has issued very important guidance for importers and exporters of goods.

You can view the guidance for imports here and exports here.

The purpose of the guidance is to help importers and exporters prepare for the changes that will take effect from 1 January 2021. We are currently in a 1 year Brexit transitional period where movements of goods from the EC to the UK have continued to be treated as acquisitions, and the movement goods from the UK to the EC have continued to be treated as dispatches.

From 1 January 2021 the movement of goods from the EC to the UK will be treated as imports, and the movement of goods from the UK to the EC will be treated as exports. In the same way as moving goods from China or to the USA, for example. This change will trigger significant new reporting requirements and processes for importers and exporters.

We strongly recommend that UK importers and exporters review HMRC’s new guidance at their earliest opportunity. Even where you engage other parties to assist you with imports and exports, it is imperative you have a good understanding of the new requirements and you are confident you are ready for the changes.

We suggest you walk through the steps in the imports and/or exports process to identify potential risks. Prompt action should be taken to ensure your processes will be robust from 1 January 2021 if you identify any weaknesses, gaps or issues. Scrutinising your position now should significantly mitigate the risk of direct supply chain issues for your business, or of you affecting others in your supply chain.

We can assist in various ways. This includes answering your high level questions, undertaking detailed analysis, performing an impact analysis, clarifying new duty rates or procedures, helping with applications, and assisting with updating your processes.

Please get in touch with your usual Johnston Carmichael contact or a member of the Johnston Carmichael VAT team to discuss further.