The Government has automatically enrolled almost 100,000 businesses into its Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) scheme ahead of the UK’s 31 October withdrawal from the European Union.
Announcing the move this month, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said the simplified import procedures will give importers more time to prepare for brand new customs processes.
Under the scheme, traders are given up to six months to send in customs declarations and pay any customs duties to HMRC after importing goods from the EU.
According to the regulator, around 95,000 VAT-registered businesses who have a history of importing goods from the EU in 2018 have been automatically enrolled.
However, businesses who are brand new to importing or who have yet to register for VAT will not be registered, and will have to do so voluntarily to receive the benefits.
Welcoming the move, Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Automatically registering companies for TSP at the border means one less immediate demand on traders’ limited time and resources in the unwanted event of a ‘no-deal’ exit.
“In particular, it would help the thousands of UK firms who import from the EU but have little experience of dealing with customs processes. We are pleased that ministers have again listened to BCC’s calls to reduce the number of administrative hoops businesses will need to jump through as they navigate major changes to the way they trade across borders.”
HMRC Interim CEO Jim Harra added: “This move will support the trade of thousands of businesses and is part of our longstanding policy of making sure we continue to keep trade flowing.”
The measure comes shortly after the decision to automatically enrol all VAT-registered businesses into the Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number programme. An EORI number will enable businesses to continue trading with the EU should the UK leave without a deal in October.
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