This website was created to help BMF and NFB members in the post-Brexit economic recovery as we are no longer in the EU Single Market and the EU Customs’ Union. We will update it as new rules, regulations and official guidance become readily available.
Help to Complete Customs’ Declarations
There are grants available to help if your business has to complete customs’ declarations and associated documents. You can apply for grants to help with:
- recruiting and salary costs of new staff to complete the declarations - and for salaries of staff you redeploy from elsewhere in the business to undertake declarations;
- training that gives your staff the skills to complete declarations and customs’ processes - it can be either in-house or external training;
- buying computer software & hardware that helps you process declarations more efficiently.
Information on these grants and how to apply can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/grants-for-businesses-that-complete-customs-declarations
Details of training courses and how to apply to the UK Customs’ Academy are here: www.ukcustomsacademy.co.uk/2019/10/04/training-grants-available-for-all-our-courses-how-to-apply
Official HMRC videos for VAT and international trade are available to watch on You Tube at: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8EcnheDt1zhzFUkbfq-JpPFsM4qm-C8r
Help with Importing or Exporting
There are grants to help if you are new to importing or exporting with the EU. If your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover, the SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 to help with professional advice and training on the following:
how to complete customs declarations;
how to manage customs processes and use customs software;
specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin.
Further details and information on eligibility can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/grants-to-help-small-and-medium-sized-businesses-new-to-importing-or-exporting
ADVICE AND SUPPORT
Business Support Helplines
You can find general support at: https://www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline
Information on financial support is here: https://www.gov.uk/browse/business/finance-support
The network of 38 Growth Hubs in England are local public & private sector partnerships led by the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). They join up national and local business support to make it easier to find the help you need: https://www.lepnetwork.net/local-growth-hub-contacts/
Alternatively, you can telephone the Business Support Helpline directly:
- England = 0800 998 1098
- Scotland = 0300 303 0660
- Wales = 0300 060 3000
- Northern Ireland = 0800 181 4422.
Trading Support Helplines
HMRC Customs & International Trade Helpline for general customs queries. You can speak to an adviser by phone on 0300 322 9434 or on a webchat here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/customs-international-trade-and-excise-enquiries
HMRC National Clearance Hub for border movement support. You can speak to an adviser by phone on 0300 322 7900 or on a webchat here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/national-clearance-hub
HMRC Borders Support for queries on specific consignments which are already live in transit. Please contact an advisor by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
After 1 January 2021, personal data can continue to be received from EU or EEA-based organisations into the UK for up to 6 months. In the jargon, this is called “data adequacy”. The new Trade and Cooperation Agreement contains a bridging mechanism that allows the continued free flow of personal data into the UK after Exit Day. This temporary 6-month arrangement gives the UK and EU more time to agree on what data adequacy arrangements will exist thereafter.
Personal data is any that can be used to identify a living person - including names, delivery details and IP addresses - or HR data such as payroll information.
To protect yourself, the solution is to use Standard Contractual Causes. They are model data protection clauses approved by the European Commission that enable the free flow of personal data when put in a contract. They contain contractual obligations on UK companies and their EU partners - and rights for individuals whose personal data is transferred. If you are a multi-national group of companies - and receiving data from within the group - you may not need Standard Contractual Clauses if your group already has approved binding corporate rules in place.
After Exit Day, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) still applies, along with the UK Data Protection Act 2018. Guidance is at: www.gov.uk/guidance/using-personal-data-in-your-business-or-other-organisation-after-the-transition-period
The UK Information Commissioner has provided guidance and resources to help you prepare: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-at-the-end-of-the-transition-period/
There are no changes to the way you send information the UK to the EU, EEA countries, Gibraltar and other countries deemed as adequate by the European Commission.
Running your business
There are significant challenges being encountered by BMF members, despite the new UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement that was reached on Christmas Eve. Some can be avoided or alleviated but post-Brexit trading poses risks to established business practices, staffing & investment decisions, and causes uncertainty with destabilising effects.
Please bear in mind these costs and administrative burdens you may not have considered so far:
- specification costs:
these are big costs of regulatory difference - and incurred by producers and importers & exporters when adapting products or processes to rules, regulations & requirements in different markets.
- familiarisation costs:
these are significant one-off costs to firms that trade only with the EU who will need to familiarise themselves about customs, tariffs, etc, for the first time in 47 years. Training staff in new rules & procedures, upgrading computer software, and keeping records for several years to the required standard must all be factored in.
- conformity costs:
these are costs incurred by firms to have their materials or products assessed & verified to meet rules & requirements by competent authorities in different export markets. They can be onerous for manufacturers who operate in supply chains where adding value is a premium - e.g. lab testing, licensing fees, etc.
We await several important outstanding decisions and official guidance is liable to change over the coming months. The BMF and NFB will, of course, do what we can for our members to help and advise you as best we can.