Find out if you can register to use transitional simplified procedures to import goods from the EU into the UK.
In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, on 31 October 2019, many UK businesses will need to apply the same procedures to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.
HMRC has put in place transitional simplified procedures to make it easier for you to import goods from the EU. We’ll review them 3 to 6 months after they’re introduced.
This guidance does not apply to moving goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Sign up for EU Exit email alerts to find out when new guidance about this is published.
What transitional simplified procedures are
Under import processes for trading with the rest of the world, goods are not released from customs control until you make a full import declaration and pay the duty you owe in full.
But transitional simplified procedures reduce the amount of information you need to give in an import declaration when the goods are crossing the border. They do this by allowing you to defer:
- submitting a full declaration
- paying any duty
If you’re not VAT-registered or if you have excise or customs duties to pay, you must have a duty deferment account to import goods using transitional simplified procedures.
Check what the tariffs will be to see whether you’ll need to pay customs duties on your goods.
If you already trade outside of the EU
If you already trade outside the EU and you have a customs agent or software, you’ll be able to use these to make declarations for your EU-UK trade. You can, but do not need to register for transitional simplified procedures, but should speak to your software provider or customs agent about the additional customs formalities you’ll have to comply with after EU exit.
For transitional simplified procedures, controlled goods are some goods that you must have a licence to import, or excise goods like alcohol or tobacco.
If you’re importing controlled goods from the EU using transitional simplified procedures, you’ll need to use the controlled goods procedure.
If you’re importing goods that are not controlled as well as goods that are controlled, you can choose to use the same (controlled goods) procedure for both.
How to register
Register for transitional simplified procedures online.
To register you must:
- have a UK EORI number (an EORI number that starts with GB)
- be established in the UK, this means:
- you’re a sole trader who is 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 they carry out their business activities
- be importing goods from the EU into the UK (including goods travelling through the EU from the rest of the world providing they’ve cleared EU customs formalities)
Your agent cannot register for transitional simplified procedures for you, you must do this yourself. Once you’ve registered, your agent will be able to submit customs declarations on your behalf using transitional simplified procedures.
What you’ll need
To register you’ll need your:
- UK EORI number (an EORI number that starts with GB) to trade with the EU
- VAT registration number (if you have one)
- business name and UK address
- contact details
Who cannot register
You cannot register to use transitional simplified procedures if:
- the only goods you import are coming into the UK directly from outside the EU
- you choose to use a customs special procedure for your goods
- you’re acting on behalf of a trader (for example you’re a freight forwarder)
- our records show that in the past you have had overdue tax returns, have not paid tax or duties due or your business is insolvent
If you’re a customs intermediary, you cannot register on behalf of a trader, but you can make declarations directly for a trader who’s registered for transitional simplified procedures.
If HMRC withdraws these procedures
If we decide to withdraw these procedures we’ll give you a 12 month notice period. This will give you enough time to prepare your business to follow the import processes you’ll need for trading with the rest of the world.
If this happens, you may choose to:
- use a third party (for example freight forwarder or customs broker) to complete declarations for you
- become authorised to use customs freight simplified procedures
- complete full declarations yourself