HMRC issues no-deal advice to businesses

All UK businesses are being urged to take three vital steps to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

HMRC is calling on all of the UK's 5.7 million businesses to register for an economic operator and registration identification (EORI) number, which will enable them to continue trading with the EU in the event of a no-deal.

With the UK on course to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 without an agreement in place, the Revenue claims only 17% of all UK businesses have an EORI number.

For businesses involved with importing and exporting goods to and from the EU, appointing a customs agent may be a wise move to take care of any customs declarations.

HMRC elaborated on its announcement that a simplified online form will be available up to two hours before a lorry is due to cross the English Channel by ferry, or hour if arriving by Eurostar.

Importers are being advised to register for new transitional simplified procedures, which will allow such businesses to import goods without making a full customs declaration at the border.

Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, said:

"We want businesses to be able continue trading with minimal disruption in any scenario, but we also know that people tend to leave things until the last minute and we would urge against that.

"We are specifically advising businesses to take some simple steps to be prepared - the first thing they need to do is register for an EORI number. It is free and takes less than 10 minutes."

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