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Do you do business with the EU? Here are the steps you need to take in order to navigate the new trading landscape and keep your business moving ;

Guidance published in The Guardian , is on my Facebook page --- I repost details here :

Trading with the EU: what SMEs need to do now

Find a customs agent An estimated 250,000 businesses will be making customs declarations for the first time in 2021, which now need to be completed for any goods leaving or entering the UK via the EU. Customs declarations can be complex, so many firms usually appoint a customs agent to do the paperwork for them. You can find a list of approved agents at gov.uk/guidance/list-of-customs-agents-and-fast-parcel-operators.

Get an EORI number To move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Isle of Man to any country overseas, businesses need an EORI number. Without an EORI, it’ll take HMRC much longer to clear your goods at the border, resulting in unwanted delays and possibly expensive storage costs. To transport goods between Great Britain and the EU, you’ll need an EORI with a “GB” prefix. And your EU partners will need an EORI with an “EU” prefix if they want to receive your goods (make sure you check they have this). Applying takes less than 10 minutes at gov.uk/eori.

Use government assistance After a tough year when many businesses have undergone economic strain due to Covid-19, assistance is available so companies can adjust to the new processes, such as:

Duty deferment Paying customs charges for each individual consignment imported from the EU is time-consuming. Consider a duty deferment account, which enables firms to pay once a month via direct debit.

Postponed accounting If a business imports goods from the EU, it may need to pay import VAT on them. However, by using postponed accounting, businesses can avoid paying this at UK ports and airports, simply accounting for it on their next VAT return instead.

Delayed payments Full border controls on goods entering the UK will not apply until 1 July 2021, with border checks staggered into three stages. If you’re not importing goods such as alcohol and tobacco, you can delay payments and defer submitting customs declarations for up to six months.

The UK government has a Brexit checker tool, which provides information for businesses on how they can adapt to the new trading landscape at gov.uk/transition.

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