Summary of Government 'Technical Notices' for a no-deal scenario
The Government has published a series of 'Technical Notices' (TN) which provide information to businesses and individuals regarding a potential 'no deal' outcome of the Brexit negotiations. A 'no deal' scenario is one where the UK leaves the EU and becomes a third country at 11pm GMT on 29 March 2019 without a Withdrawal Agreement and framework for a future relationship in place. While the Government considers a 'no deal' unlikely, it is keen to prepare for all eventualities come March 2019.
The TNs published so far have covered areas including medical supplies, financial services, nuclear safeguards, farming and organic food production. Here we have identified and summarised just those TNs which are most relevant to our industry.
- Trading with the EU if there's no Brexit deal
- Classifying your goods in the UK trade tariff if there's no Brexit deal
- VAT for Businesses if there's no Brexit deal
- Workplace Rights if there's no Brexit deal
- Structuring your business if there's no Brexit deal
- Accessing public sector contract if there's no Brexit deal
- Existing free trade agreements if there's no Brexit deal
- Commercial road haulage in the EU if there's no Brexit deal
Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
BOSS through their partnership with BPIF is a member of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), and we've been contributing our views on Brexit to their dedicated Brexit policy teams. They've published an extensive analysis of how a no-deal Brexit would impact companies in all regions of the country. Information about the state of the economy, and company case studies, is available by region.
"From the South West of England, to the North East of Scotland, businesses are telling us a no deal would be a disaster for the UK economy, for businesses and for individual livelihoods." - CBI
Important no-deal news for importers
a. Entry Summary Declarations
This month the Government has made some announcements designed to give businesses more time to make changes, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. If this happens, HMRC plans to phase in Entry Summary Declarations (pre-arrival forms for UK imports). So, from 29 March, if Brexit takes place without a deal, the status quo will be temporarily maintained as hauliers will not need to submit Entry Summary Declarations on imports for a period of six months.
Importers will still be required to submit import declarations for customs purposes (these are not the same as Entry Summary Declarations, see below).
b. Customs/Import Declarations
Plans have also been made that, in the event of a no-deal, Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) can be used for at least 15 months for customs declarations. The TSPs are intended to make importing easier for an initial period of one year. Once businesses are registered for TSP, they will be able to:
- transport goods from theEUinto the UK without having to make a full customs declaration at the border (full declaration can be made after the goods have crossed the border)
- postpone paying any import duties until the month after the import.
VAT registered businesses which trade with the EU should have received a letter from HMRC with more details about TSPs. If you've not been contacted, you can read the letter on the HMRC website and you can sign up to TSP online too. You'll need your EORI number.
If you still need to apply for your EORI number, it can take three days to be processed, so we recommend doing this as soon as possible.
No-deal changes to food labelling
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for what you must show on food labels will change for some food and drink products. Some of the new rules will come into effect from exit day (29 March). For others, you'll have longer to update your food labels.
Using chemicals if there's no-deal
We've been contacted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs regarding the safe use of chemicals if there's no Brexit deal.
In a no-deal situation, UK businesses that manufacture or import chemicals from the EU will have to register those chemicals under a new UK regulatory system called UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). This will replace EU REACH. If you already have EU REACH registration your registration will be legally recognised but you'll need to confirm it and supply some further information to the Health and Safety Executive.
UK businesses that are downstream users or distributors of chemicals will also need to notify the HSE - within 180 days of the UK leaving the EU. This will be a free process and will need to be completed by September 2019. Later on, by March 2021, the HSE will require you to register specific substances. This won't be necessary if your EU supplier has appointed a UK-based Only Representative (or of course if you've switched to a UK registered supplier).
Further guidance and advice - including case studies for importers, distributors and downstream users - has been published by DEFRA.
HMRC readiness webinars
HMRC are running readiness webinars for businesses to help prepare for a no-deal Brexit. To watch a recording of the webinar please click here.
Temporary tariff plans
The Government announced on 13 March that if we leave the EU without a deal, there will be a temporary arrangement in which the vast majority of tariffs (everything but foil, cars, some clothing and food items) will be set at 0%, thereby maintaining the current status quo. This is in order to prevent a price shock where companies are suddenly passing the costs of import tariffs onto consumers. The temporary arrangement would be in place for up to 12 months, while the Government consults on a new tariff regime.
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