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Last edited 21 Feb 2021
The SME's updated guide to Brexit
With Brexit on the cards, the number of procedural changes business owners must keep up with can appear daunting. This article should serve to identify some key issues for SMEs to be aware of, and some immediate actions to take.
 Risk assessment guidance
 EU Settlement Scheme
ECA held a Brexit Briefing with BEIS in January 2019 for ECA members on the commercial implications of the UK leaving the EU. This included useful information on contractual clauses and is still valid given that the default of a ‘no deal’ scenario has not changed.
 Importing and exporting
 Transitional simplified procedures for imports
In addition to registering for (or now being sent an) EORI number, firms that are importing from the EU that wish to make use of transitional simplified procedures will need to register for these. The main benefits to firms of using these procedures are that they enable them to defer duties and the submission of an import declaration, minimising delays in the transport of products.
To register to use these procedures, firms will need:
- An EORI number.
- A VAT registration number.
- Their UK business name and address, and
- The contact details of the relevant person responsible for making the import declaration.
There is full guidance on the Gov.UK website, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-for-simplified-import-procedures-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal.
 Further information and guidance on Brexit:
ECA is working with the government’s Business Energy and Industrial Strategy team for Construction on an awareness programme to ensure industry is ready for trading in a ‘no deal’ scenario. Updates in this regard are being shared regularly via the member newsletter.
HMRC has announced that businesses will be able to use simplified declarations and postpone payment of duties under Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) if there is a no-deal Brexit (although there will be additional information needed for controlled goods). The measures will be reviewed after three to six months and businesses will be given 12 months’ notice if they are to be withdrawn.
Businesses can sign up for TSP online from 7 February but they will need an EORI number to do this. Registration and information, including which ports TSP applies to, is available at www.gov.uk/hmrc/eu-simple-importing. The list does include Hull, Tilbury, Dover, Immingham (Hull) and Felixtowe.
HMRC has written to all VAT-registered businesses which, if they import, they should have received already. Click to read letter.
 About this article
This article was written by Rob Driscoll, Director of Legal & Business at the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA). It previously appeared on the ECA website in September 2019 and can be accessed HERE.
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