Businesses told to prepare for Customs changes

Businesses told to prepare for Customs changes

Published: December 21st, 2020

Business secretary Alok Sharma has urged businesses to take action now to ensure they are prepared for changes to Customs declarations in the wake of the UK’s EU exit.

With just days to go before the end of the transition period on December 31, Mr Sharma says time is running out to get your business ready for new trading rules with Europe.

In an open letter to businesses, he says changes will come into effect regardless of the outcome of negotiations between the UK and EU over a trade agreement.

He says: “Everyone in the UK who trades with Europe, or under the Northern Ireland Protocol, will be affected by new rules and there are steps you can take to get ready. I urge you to act now.

“If you buy goods for your business from EU countries and bring them into the UK, or if you sell goods to customers in EU countries, you will need to make customs declarations for your goods from 1 January 2021.

“If you plan to trade with businesses in EU countries from 1 January 2021, you need to take these actions now:

“When you make customs declarations, you will need to accurately record where goods have come from. If you do not provide the correct information, you may be charged the wrong amount of tax or duty and you may have to pay a penalty.

“For businesses moving goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain there is support available to help. I urge you to:

“If you’re a VAT registered trader, you will also receive a letter and checklist this week from HMRC to help you prepare for the new trading rules with Europe.”

More information about what actions you may need to take can be found by using the checker tool at and by keeping up to date with regular business readiness bulletins too.

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