Guidance

Customs warehouses - what to expect on day one of a 'no deal' scenario

If you're a warehouse keeper, you'll need need to treat EU goods in the same way as you treat goods from the rest of the world.

Businesses that trade with the EU will broadly follow the same customs controls as businesses trading with the rest of the world – so they will need to adapt their business to comply with these systems, processes and controls.

If you are a warehouse keeper for the goods of other businesses, the following will apply.

How customs processes will change

Trade with the EU will broadly follow the same customs controls as trade with the rest of the world, so the status of EU goods will change.

You can expect to receive goods into your warehouse that have been imported from the EU and which are liable to customs duties or import VAT. You will need to treat these EU goods in the same way as you currently treat goods from the rest of the world. You may therefore need to adjust the way you use and manage your warehouse.

You may also need to talk to your software supplier so that any changes are in place to reflect these requirements – and you should be prepared to support new customers who have not previously dealt with customs matters.

If you use a warehouse as part of your own business, trade with the EU will broadly follow the same customs controls as trade with the rest of the world, so the status of EU goods will change. You will be able to use your existing warehouse to store goods you have imported from the EU.

You may need to consider whether you have sufficient warehouse space to continue to meet your requirements.

Actions you can take now

  1. Assess the impact of any increased demand from third party depositors, or requirements of your own business, and whether you would need to recruit and train additional staff.
  2. Consider how you can help make your customers aware of the requirements of the customs warehousing procedure.
  3. Consider whether you need to make any changes to deal with goods subject to excise duty.
  4. Talk to your software supplier so that any changes are in place to reflect any new requirements.
  5. Consider whether you need to make any changes to your customs authorisations or increase the capacity of your storage facility, and if you do, make early contact with the appropriate unit to ensure there is sufficient time for the changes to be made.
  6. The passport rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Read the government’s guidance on Travelling to the EU with a UK passport if there’s no Brexit deal and, if relevant, ensure your employees and customers are aware of the potential changes.
  7. Stay up-to-date with these changes by registering for email alerts. Follow the link, add your email address, select ‘Submit’, select ‘Add subscription’ and choose ‘EU Exit’ then select ‘Submit’.
  8. Consider checking with your customers that they are aware of the potential changes and how these could impact their business, and suggest they also register for HMRC’s EU Exit update service on GOV.UK.

Published 22 October 2018