Brexit: Trade for VAT registered businesses in event of no deal

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The UK Government will be writing to all VAT registered businesses that have previously traded with the EU to assign them a registration number they will need to keep trading in the event of a no-deal Brexit. 

If the UK leaves the EU without an agreement on 31 October then there will be a number of disruptions affecting export to and import from the EU of agri-food goods. In a no-deal scenario, any businesses that plan to import or export after that day will need to have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

The government has been encouraging businesses to register for some time but concerns have been reported that uptake has been lower than desired. To address this HMRC has now decided to automatically assign an EORI number to all businesses that are VAT registered and its records show have previously exported goods to the EU or imported from there. Such businesses should receive a letter in the coming weeks.

What do I need to do?

If you already have an EORI number, you do not need to do anything. If you have already applied for one then this should be on record and you will not be automatically assigned one. If you are not VAT registered, but want to continue trading with the EU in a no-deal situation, you can still register. Information on how to do so and further government guidance can be found here.

Having an EORI number is only one step in ensuring your businesses could still export or import goods between the UK and EU in a no-deal Brexit. Depending if you import or export, you will need to consider making provisions for dealing with extra customs formalities and other paperwork.

Visit the NFU’s no-deal Brexit hub for more information on what a disorderly exit could mean for farming.

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