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No Deal Brexit Preparations

As time passes and we are still without an agreement on a Brexit Deal between the UK and the EU, the risk of the UK leaving without a Deal in place, which almost no one says they want, is growing. The MTA strongly believes that a Deal would be advantageous not least in that it would offer a transition period for Businesses to adapt while the final status is hammered out. We will continue to argue for one, but, it is important to be as prepared as possible for the eventuality of a No Deal scenario.

Below are a number of links to the official sources of advice for no deal planning. Members will probably have had some of this information sent to them by various arms of Government and some of it has been in the Friday Brief over recent weeks. Of course, each business is unique and what each needs to do will differ but there are some common themes.

For All Businesses

There is a new, internet-based, tool on that the Department for Exiting the EU has set up which you can access here: Prepare your business for the UK leaving the EU It aims to tell businesses

•           what they need to do to prepare for the UK leaving the EU

•           what’s changing in their industry

•           information on specific rules and regulations.

The Tool is relatively simple to use, but can still leave you with a lot of guidance to work through.

Customs

HMRC has sent a letter to UK businesses that trade only with the EU, giving details of important actions firms need to take and changes to be aware of in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The letter asks businesses to:

  • decide if they want to hire an agent to make import and/or export declarations for them or if they want to make declarations themselves using relevant software
  • register for Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP), which is a new process to make importing easier than it otherwise would be for the initial period after the UK leaves the EU, should there be no deal – registration opens from 7th February on GOV.UK.

There are important updates on the way businesses trading with the EU pay import VAT and use EU VAT IT systems if we leave with no deal.

The letter is at: Letters on 'no deal' Brexit advice for businesses only trading with the EU.

HMRC has also published new guides on GOV.UK on:

The guides provide further information explaining what these changes mean for UK businesses that trade with the EU.

These and other guides are listed at: Trading with the EU if the UK leaves without a deal.

DIT has set up an enquiry unit to deal with issues that are not answered in the above: euexit@trade.gov.uk

A pdf of HMRC’s useful Partnership Pack, updated for a fourth time on February 6th, is attached and linked here https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/777373/Partnership_pack_Feb_2019.pdf

Data Flows between the UK and EU

An area that you might not have thought of in terms of preparation is data flows. Should the UK leave without a deal, it will become a third country in respect of EU data law which could present problems for international businesses. The Information Commissioner has produced a blog, with a link to a useful checklist, which you can access here blog from the Information Commissioner's Office One way of dealing with the problems that this may throw up is to adopt Standard Contractual Clauses to cover data transfers. The website linked can help you identify what you need and give you specimens.

One very useful thing that you can do to prepare to ensure that your staff are up to date with the latest customs procedures. The MTA is able to offer a preferential rate for courses run by the Institute of Export aiming to do just that. The courses are running all over the country over the next three months and you can find out more here https://www.export.org.uk/page/CustomsDocumentation  When booking by phone tell them that you are an MTA member and you will be eligible for the reduced Member’s rate (and you may be eligible for further financial support from HMRC).

Of course, if you have Brexit related queries please do not hesitate to contact us here at the MTA where Head of External Affairs, Paul O’Donnell, is leading for the MTA on the issue. He is contactable on podonnell@mta.org.uk .