News article

Brexit: Using transitional simplified procedures to import goods in a no-deal Brexit

9 October 2019

Transitional simplified procedures are currently suspended. You will not need to use this between February and December 2020. If you applied, keep your paperwork safe. For current information, read a step-by-step guide to importing.

Importing goods using transitional simplified procedures

In a no-deal Brexit, UK businesses that import goods will need to apply the same procedures to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.

HMRC has introduced transitional simplified procedures to help businesses import goods from the EU.

The actions below do not apply to those importing or exporting goods between Northern Ireland-Ireland.

When you import goods from the rest of the world, they are not released from customs control until you have declared them and paid import duties and VAT.

Using transitional simplified procedures to import goods from the EU will delay:

  • submitting your full declaration by letting you submit less information at the time the goods enter the UK
  • paying import duties and VAT

If you already trade outside of the EU

If you already trade outside the EU and use a third party (like a customs agent, or software to submit import declarations), you can continue to do this to import from the EU.

You can also register for transitional simplified procedures, but you should check with your software provider or third party about any additional customs rules you will need to follow.

Register to use transitional simplified procedures

You must register to use transitional simplified procedures.

Importing controlled goods

Controlled goods are goods that must have a license to import, or excise goods like alcohol or tobacco, which have additional duties on them.

You should:

  1. Check if your goods are on the list of controlled goods for transitional simplified procedures
  2. Find out how to import controlled goods from the EU using transitional simplified procedures

Importing standard goods

If you’re not importing controlled goods, find out how to import standard goods using transitional simplified procedures.

Importing controlled goods and standard goods

If you’re importing controlled goods as well as standard goods, you can just follow the process for importing controlled goods.

Importing EU goods under the Common Transit Convention

You can use transitional simplified procedures if you’re importing EU goods under the Common Transit Convention. The Common Transit Convention is used for the movement of goods between or through common transit countries.

The common transit countries are:

  • EU member states
  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • Liechtenstein
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • North Macedonia

The process for this will depend on whether they are:

If HMRC withdraws these procedures

HMRC will review transitional simplified procedures after Brexit. If it’s decided to withdraw them, HMRC will let you know 12 months before. This will give you time to prepare your business to follow the full process for importing goods.

If this happens, you can:

Brexit webinar - Transitional Simplified Procedures