Guidance

Changes to your customs authorisations if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

Find out how leaving the EU without a deal affects your existing authorisation to use customs procedures or other facilitations.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, you’ll need to check whether your current authorisations to use special and simplified procedures (known as customs facilitations) still apply.

Customs facilitations (including special procedures) make trading between other countries easier, quicker and cheaper.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal your business must be established in the UK to use most customs facilitations (with the exception of temporary admission) in the UK.

You’re established in the UK if:

  • you’re a sole trader resident in the UK
  • your company or partnership has a registered office in the UK
  • your company or partnership has a permanent place of business in the UK where you carry out its business activities

If you trade goods with the non-EU countries, you may be already authorised to use customs procedures.

Depending on the type of facilitation, and whether HMRC or another EU customs authority gave you that authorisation, you should check that you can carry on using it and whether it will be more limited.

Customs special procedures

The customs special procedures covered in this guidance are:

  • inward processing
  • outward processing
  • temporary admission
  • authorised use (also known as end use)
  • customs warehousing

Authorisations issued in the UK

If HMRC have authorised you to place goods into a customs special procedure in the UK, your authorisation will still be valid in the UK after the UK leaves the EU. You can carry on both:

  • importing goods into the UK
  • suspending customs duties and import VAT or in certain circumstances, relieving some or all of the customs duty

You’ll also be able to use your authorisation to import goods from the EU along with any you already import from non-EU countries.

You should write to your HMRC authorisation team to ask for an amendment to your authorisation if there are changes to:

  • the range of commodity codes
  • quantities
  • values
  • any other details specified in your current authorisation

Single authorisations issued in the UK to use in the EU

If HMRC have authorised you to place goods into a customs special procedure, including moving those goods into the EU, your authorisation will still be valid but in the UK only.

This means that you can carry on importing goods into the UK under the authorised procedure after the UK leaves the EU.

You should write to your HMRC authorisation team to ask for an amendment to your authorisation if there are changes to:

  • the range of commodity codes
  • quantities
  • values
  • any other details specified in your current authorisation

If you want to cancel your authorisation, you must tell the relevant HMRC authorisation team. We’ll send you a letter cancelling your authorisation and telling you what to do to discharge any goods that you have in stock.

Current guidance issued by the EU is that authorisations for customs simplifications or procedures, such as customs warehousing, issued by the UK will no longer be valid in the EU after the UK leaves.

Authorisations given by another EU customs authority

If you’re named on an authorisation issued by another EU customs authority to place goods into a customs special procedure in the UK, you will not be able to receive goods in the UK under that authorisation after the UK leaves the EU. For example, to import goods for processing from the EU whilst duty is suspended or relieved, you’ll need a separate authorisation from HMRC.

Find out how you can become authorised to use special procedures in the UK.

Where you’ve had goods under an authorisation from another EU customs authority, you’ll have until the 12 April 2020 to discharge those goods from any customs special procedure.

You can do this by either:

  • exporting the goods
  • making a declaration into a UK customs special procedure
  • putting goods into free circulation in the UK

Guarantees and special procedures

This guidance is to notify you that when the UK leaves the EU, in most cases you will not need a guarantee to cover your customs duty and import VAT to get full authorisation for:

  • inward processing
  • outward processing
  • temporary admission
  • authorised use (or end use)
  • customs warehousing

HMRC will give 12 months’ notice before reintroducing guarantees.

In some cases, we’ll ask you to give a guarantee when you apply or reapply for a special procedure. For example, where our records show that in the past you’ve:

  • had overdue tax returns
  • not paid tax or duties

If you’ve breached the terms of your special procedure authorisation, HMRC may ask you to give a guarantee.

Transit simplifications

You can carry on using HMRC-issued authorisations for transit simplifications, including authorised consignor and consignee status, after the UK leaves the EU.

We expect an increase in demand for transit after we leave.

If you act as an authorised consignor or consignee for your own business or on behalf of other businesses, you may wish to expand your capacity in order to deal with possible increase in demand.

Contact the National Simplifications team in the Central Community Transit to find out the type of approval process you’ll need for:

  • expanding your existing consignor or consignee facilities
  • opening new facilities

You may need temporary storage authorisation to expand your transit facilities or open new facilities.

You may also need to increase the value of your guarantee.

Customs freight simplified procedures

If you’re already authorised by HMRC to use customs freight simplified procedures, after the UK leaves the EU you’ll be able to use your authorisation to make simplified declarations for goods imported from the EU as well as from non-EU countries.

You should write to your HMRC authorisation team to ask for an amendment to your authorisation if there are changes to:

  • the range of commodity codes
  • quantities
  • values
  • any other details specified in your current authorisation

If you need to increase the limit on your duty deferment account after the UK leaves the EU, you should tell your deferment office.

You must give a full guarantee to cover that increase when you receive a notice from HMRC. This will not be before 30 September 2019.

Using customs freight simplified procedures on behalf of others

If you’re authorised to use customs freight simplified procedures, after the UK leaves the EU, you can use the procedure on behalf of other businesses that are not authorised. If you do, you must make the declarations in the name of the business that you’re acting directly for.

They’ll be solely liable for any customs duty, excise duty or import VAT due.

They must apply for a duty deferment account to make payments.

Duty deferment

To guarantee your duty deferment account, you’ll be able to choose either a:

  • customs comprehensive guarantee
  • financial guarantee from a bank or insurer

If you want to use a customs comprehensive guarantee, you should tell your customs comprehensive guarantee authorisation team that you need to increase the limit on your duty deferment account from the date the UK leaves the EU.

If you want to use a financial guarantee, you should tell your deferment office of any increase.

You must give a guarantee to cover that increase when you receive a notice from HMRC. This will not be before 30 September 2019.

Authorised economic operator

If you’re established in the UK and you already hold authorised economic operator status (issued by HMRC), your authorisation will be transferred automatically to the UK scheme after the UK leaves the EU.

This will be a new UK status and will replace your existing EU status for your UK customs operations. You’ll be issued with a new certificate and logo which you should use in place of any existing certificate and logo after the UK leaves the EU.

Guidance issued by the EU is that economic operator status authorisations issued by the UK will no longer be valid in the EU after the UK leaves the EU.

The new UK status will not apply to branches or permanent business establishments in other member states. You may need to contact these member states directly to discuss making a separate application on behalf of these branches.

If you currently hold authorised economic operator status issued by another EU customs authority, which covers your customs operations in the UK, the UK will not recognise this and it will not secure the benefits of the status in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

Find out how you can apply for UK authorised economic operator status.

Published 6 March 2019