Tax liability for imports after Brexit transition?

Link for Ideas - HMRC issues tariff guidance for nodeal Brexit
How will importer's tax liability for their import shipments look after the Brexit transition period ends? Here is what the UK government has planned.

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What changes will apply in the tax liability for imports after Brexit transition?

How will importer’s tax liability for their import shipments look after the Brexit transition period ends?If the UK does not achieve a Brexit deal with the EU by the end of 2020, as seems likely, the government has laid out what importers can expect for Duty liability.

UK Customs Releases Details of New Customs Tariff for 2021

UK Customs have just released guidance and a tool on the new Customs tariff for 2021, post Brexit.

What this means for importers and anyone involved in moving goods into UK is that many existing goods will have different Duty rates.  Some commodity codes will not have changed. There are a number that this author has checked which are now 0% and many which Customs have ‘simplified’ to a lower rate of 2%.

Tax liability for imports after Brexit transition?

What should importers do now?

Before importers instruct freight forwarders and other stakeholders, they need to compile a list of their revised codes.  There may not be any change in Duty rates however importers should do a comparison to avoid surprises.

What if I’m due to pay less Duty?

Whilst this may seem a good thing, importers should view this with caution right now.  There’s a good chance the UK Government or Customs may change this.  The UK Government may make specific trade agreements particularly with the EU, so until the end of 2020 there may be further amendments.

What if I will have to pay more Duty?

I reviewed the available information, as of today, and there does not appear to be many increases in Duty rates.  The main changes were:

  • Amendments in additional Duty related to Euros per kg (for example), converting to GBP.
  • Simplification of rates, this seems to be reductions where a rate was, for example, 6.4% now 6%.
  • Liberalised. A low Duty rate will change to 0%
  • No change.  A few items are just going to remain as they were.

What if I import something on 31st December?

As long as the Customs declaration clears on 31st December it will be against the EU agreed Duty rates.  Importers may find it preferable to hold off clearance until 1st January, but again importers need to monitor that and weigh up any benefits. Read the guidance of UK tariffs from 1st January 2021.

Here is our EORI Guide.

Correct as of 21/5/2020


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