Post Brexit Trading with the EU made easier with the help of Transitional Simplified Procedures

2nd October 2019

In our last blog, we highlighted how to make use of ‘postponed accounting for import VAT’, a temporary change to ease the transition for businesses importing from the EU if we are faced with a no deal scenario.


If you are planning to make use of postponed accounting you must first register for, and be approved to use, ‘Transitional Simplified Procedures’, which have been designed to simplify the import and export process in the case of a no deal Brexit.

In this blog, we explain Transitional Simplified Procedures in more depth and highlight who can apply to use them.

What are the Transitional Simplified Procedures?

Once the UK leaves the EU, businesses will have to trade with EU suppliers and customers in the same way they trade with businesses in the rest of the world.  This change brings a new set of guidelines to follow, which will be an additional adjustment for businesses that have solely been involved in EU trading. Under current import rules, when trading with businesses outside of the EU, goods are not released until you have made a full import declaration and paid customs duty in full.

After the UK’s exit from the EU, Transitional Simplified Procedures will reduce the amount of information businesses will need to provide on an import declaration when goods are crossing the border from EU countries. The interim rules will allow businesses to delay the submission of the full import declaration and will allow them to pay and reclaim import VAT on their next quarterly VAT return, rather than having to pay the VAT at the point of entry into the UK. This should ensure goods are cleared for entry into the UK quickly, minimising delays and cash flow problems.

Who can register for Transitional Simplified Procedures?

You can register online to use the procedures if you:

  • Have an EORI number that starts with GB
  • Are established in the UK, which means one of the following applies:
    • You’re a sole trader who is resident in the UK
    • Your company or partnership has a registered office in the UK
    • Your company or partnership has a permanent place of business in the UK where they carry out their business activities
    • Are importing goods from the EU into the UK as owner of the goods.  This will include goods travelling through the EU from the rest of the world as long as they’ve cleared EU customs formalities.

You shouldn’t be registering to use the procedures if:

  • The only goods you import are coming into the UK directly from outside the EU
  • You choose to use a customs special procedure for your goods
  • you’re acting on behalf of a trader (for example you’re a freight forwarder) or agent (commissionaire)
  • You have a consistent history of overdue tax returns, unpaid tax or duties due, or your business is insolvent

If you’re a customs intermediary, such as an agent, you cannot register on behalf of a trader, but you can make declarations directly for a trader who is registered for transitional simplified procedures.

You can register for transitional simplified procedures here. To register you’ll need your:

  • EORI number that starts with GB
  • VAT registration number (if you have one)
  • business name and UK address
  • contact details

For further information, take a read of our other Brexit blogs, or contact our team today on 01926 422292.