News article

Brexit: Import goods from the EU? Register for simplified import procedures

7 February 2019


HMRC has introduced new Transitional Simplified Procedures for customs, to make importing easier for the initial period after the UK leaves the EU, should there be no deal

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK businesses must apply the same procedures to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.

Currently, 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 owed in full.

HMRC has put in place transitional simplified procedures (TSP) for businesses importing goods from the EU.

These procedures will be reviewed three to six months after they are introduced on 29 March 2019.

The actions below do not apply to those importing or exporting goods between Northern Ireland-Ireland. HMRC will issue future guidance on this.

What are transitional simplified procedures?

TSP 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:

  • giving a full declaration
  • paying any duty

If tariffs apply to the goods that you import and you want to use transitional simplified procedures you will need to:

  • apply to defer any duties payable - HMRC will let you know how to do this when the streamlined process for deferring duty is available
  • have a financial guarantee by 30 June 2019 for any duties deferred

Who can register

To register to use transitional simplified procedures you must:

  • have an EORI number
  • be established in the UK
  • be importing goods from the EU into the UK - including goods travelling via the EU from the rest of the world providing they have cleared EU customs formalities

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 are acting on behalf of a trader (for example, you’re a freight forwarder)
  • you have had overdue tax returns, have not paid tax or duties due or your business is insolvent

What you need to register

To register you’ll need your:

  • EORI number to trade with the EU
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (if you have one)
  • VAT registration number (if you have one)
  • business name and UK address
  • contact details

Once you are registered, you will be able to transport your goods into the UK without having to make a full customs declaration at the border, and you will be able to postpone paying your import duties. However, for controlled goods, you will have to provide some information before import.

Register online for transitional simplified procedures