Another chaotic week of UK politics and we still don’t know if Brexit is going to happen, or if it does, what it’s going to look like.
Both major parties seem to be dealing with internal divisions on the topic and it’s difficult to see how the present hiatus can be resolved before the 29 March 2019.
On the one hand it is difficult to engage with the process, the wrangling has been going on for almost two years, so what should we be doing to safeguard our clients’ best interests at this time.
Apply for an EORI number now
Top of the list, if you import goods from the EU, should be to apply now for a UK Economic Operator number (EORI). If the UK leaves the EU any time soon, and without a deal, you will need to get an EORI number to continue trading with EU businesses after 29 March 2019.
You can access an application form at https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/shortforms/form/EORIContact
Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Status
The second item on your list, if you import items from the EU, should be to apply for AEO status. AEO status will smooth the clearance and progress of consignments through customs checks.
Whatever the outcome of present and future negotiations, this would be a worthwhile add-on to your strategies to minimise disruption to your trading activities.
AEO status is an internationally recognised quality mark that shows your:
- role in the international supply chain is secure
- customs controls and procedures are efficient and meet EU standards
It’s not mandatory, but gives quicker access to some simplified customs procedures and, in some cases, the right to ‘fast-track’ your shipments through some customs and safety and security procedures.
Details on how to apply can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/authorised-economic-operator-certification#how-to-apply-for-aeo-status
Let’s hope that the Brexit “mess” is sorted soon. What all of us in business need right now is certainty and which track are we going to running on post Brexit?