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UK VAT-registered businesses which trade with the EU are being urged by HMRC to be prepared for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. HMRC sent letters to 145,000 firms advising businesses to take three actions ahead of the 29th March 2019 leave date:

  1. Register for a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
  2. Decide whether a customs agent will be used to make import and/or export declarations, or whether declarations will be made by the business via software which is compatible with HMRCs systems.
  3. Contact the organisations responsible for moving goods (such as haulage firms) in order to ascertain whether the business will need to supply additional information to complete safety and security declarations, or whether it will need to submit these declarations itself.

A report jointly published by HMRC and the National Audit Office (NAO) recently revealed that approximately 55 million customs declarations are currently made by British businesses every year. This figure may rise to 255 million when the UK leaves the EU.

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