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HMRC are continuing to support UK businesses to help them prepare for the changes that will occur if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 M‌ar‌c‌h.

This week they published a letter to 135,000 UK businesses that currently trade goods with non-EU countries. The letter outlines important changes to customs procedures and VAT for UK-EU trade that will occur if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. These changes will also impact on UK trade outside of the EU.

What you need to know about EORI numbers:

  • any business that already trades with non-EU countries and has a UK EORI number will continue to be able to use this for UK-EU trade and does not need to apply again
  • UK EORI numbers are eight digit numbers and begin with the prefix ‘GB’, such as GB00000000
  • any business that already trades with non-EU countries and has an EU EORI number will be able to use this for UK-EU trade for a temporary period; HMRC will provide further information about moving to a UK EORI number shortly and these businesses do not need to apply for a UK EORI number at this time
  • EU EORI numbers will be begin with different country prefix, such as ‘IE’ or ‘FR’.

Their latest letter follows on from three letters we have already written to 145,000 UK businesses that trade with the EU, setting out the actions they must take to prepare their business for a potential no deal exit from the EU on 29 M‌ar‌c‌h. They include the actions these businesses must take now to make sure they are able to trade as smoothly as possible when we leave, such as registering for an international trader number, known as an EORI number, which these businesses will need to continue trading with the EU.

Where can I go for further support and guidance to prepare my business for EU Exit?

If you are in any doubt about whether your business, or a business you support, will be affected by EU Exit then you should use the dedicated ‘Prepare your business for the UK leaving the EU‘ tool on GOV‌.UK. The tool asks seven questions about the nature of the trade they carry out before presenting the relevant guidance to inform their preparations.

If you are a UK business that trades with the EU, or you support such a business, then we have a dedicated ‘Communications resources‘ page that helps to explain the actions you must take to prepare and provides further guidance and support for each step. The page includes:

  • step-by-step guides for UK importers and exporters setting out the key actions they need to take to prepare their business
  • details of the latest guidance on key areas, such as how to successfully complete customs declarations and how to move goods to the EU through roll on roll off ports
  • links to the technical notices published in August last year
  • copies of the latest letters issued to UK traders to inform their EU Exit preparations
  • information about the further guidance and support available.

You will also find dedicated guidance on ‘Preparing for EU Exit if you live in the UK‘, ‘Living in Europe after the UK leaves the EU‘ and ‘Continuing to live in the UK after we leave the EU‘ which you may find useful.

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