Government letter lays out new EU trade arrangements from 1 January 2021


In October, HMRC sent a letter to all VAT-registered businesses in Great Britain that lays out details about future trading with the EU, once Brexit finally takes place in January 2021. If you operate a business that trades with the bloc, it is vital to ensure you have all the right processes, contracts, and agreements in place, regardless of whether or not the government secures a free trade deal. Here is a brief rundown of what you need to know:

  • If you import goods from the EU that are on the controlled goods list, you will need to make declarations from 1 January 2021.
  • If you import goods that are not on this list, and have a good compliance record, then you can defer such declarations for up-to six months. In this case, you will still have to make declarations eventually, and as a result, must keep a record of all your imports.
  • If you have a poor recent compliance history, you will not have the opportunity to defer your declarations, no matter what goods you are importing.
  • The steps to make a full declaration of goods imported from the EU are the same as those that currently exist for trade with non-EU countries.
  • You will be responsible for paying any relevant tariffs that exist on the goods you are importing at the time of import.

The actual letter itself includes further detail, such as where you can find assistance and what information you are required to keep hold of. We strongly suggest all interested parties read it in full here:

If your business currently trades with the European Union, then you need to ensure you are well prepared for 1 January 2021.

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