Overseas Trade

With the increasing possibility that the UK may leave the EU with no deal, businesses involved in trading with companies outside of the UK should consider carefully any actions that they will be required to take.

Customs duties are already a complex area of tax, but following Brexit the rules and regulations are set to become even more onerous.

Depending on how a business trades outside the UK, there will be different impacts on operations.  Changes could range from compliance and regulatory reporting, to the financial impacts of Customs or Excise Duties and VAT charges. Getting it wrong could prove costly.

In addition to the commercial issues associated with any delays to trade, unnecessary tax charges could create an absolute cost to businesses. There is also the additional threat of penalties and interest, and it would be prudent for businesses to evaluate carefully their respective positions.

Common areas for consideration

HMRC have recently contacted businesses who may be affected by a no-deal Brexit. They highlight 3 key steps:

  • Register for an EORI number
  • Import / Export declarations – appointing a Customs agent
  • Additional information required by hauliers / couriers

In addition to the above, we commonly see issues in the following areas:

  • Incorrect classification of goods
  • Customs duty reliefs not being claimed
  • Inconsistent treatment of imports
  • Price adjustments
  • Method of valuation
  • Recording the origin of goods

How we can help

Our indirect tax team have extensive experience of providing specialist indirect tax advice to importers and exporters alike. Our focus is on duty minimisation and compliance ensuring that overseas trade is operated legally at the lowest possible cost.

Solutions are tailored to meet clients needs and range from a fully managed outsourced service covering all aspects of a businesses import/export operation to performing indirect tax health checks or assisting companies with HMRC enquiries. A summary of our services is below:

  • Outsourced customs operations
  • Customs Duty planning
  • Recovery of overpaid duties
  • Claiming duty reliefs
  • HMRC management system
  • Customs duty helpline
  • Indirect tax health checks
  • HMRC audits
  • AEO certification
  • EORI registration

Next steps

Initial consultations are performed free of charge. We ask businesses to complete a brief questionnaire highlighting the nature of their overseas trade. We will then meet with the business to discuss operations in more detail allowing us to highlight any potential issues or opportunities. We can then set out a suggested approach to implement solutions to minimise indirect tax costs and/or recover any amounts of duty which may be overpaid.

To arrange a consultation please contact one of our indirect tax team.