Pursuant to Article 50 of the EU Treaty Brexit kicks in from 29 th March, 2019 but there is little clarity regarding what happens after, or the gravity of its impact on international businesses such as road transport companies. The UK government has stated its intensions to keep procedures as close as possible to what they are now in order to provide continuity and certainty for businesses (GOV.UK, 2018). However, Indications from the governor of the Bank of England and the International Trade Secretary among others suggest that the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a deal or an understanding of what comes next is very high (TIME Magazine, 2018).
This write-up is to give transport and logistics companies a brief heads-up on the impact of Britain exiting the EU without a deal, some useful preparatory steps, and where to look for relevant information.
In the event of a ‘no deal’, ahead of March 2019, businesses will have to adapt to comply with new systems, processes and controls. Among these is the filing of safety and security declarations and the confirmation of a customs declaration for cross-border goods.
Import and haulage companies must submit safety and security information through an Entry Summary Declaration before the goods arrive in the UK.
In the short term, goods that meet EU requirements (and were tested by an EU recognised conformity assessment body) can still be placed on the UK market.
However, products assessed for conformity by a UK-notified body will no longer be able to be placed on the EU market without retesting and re-marking by an EU-recognised conformity assessment body.
So from 11pm on 29 March 2019, businesses trading with the EU will have to apply the same customs and excise rules to goods moving between the UK and the EU as are currently applied in cases where goods move between the UK and a country outside the EU.
How should road transport & logistics companies prepare for Brexit?
It is therefore very important to take preparatory steps in case of a ‘no deal’ scenario.
Preparatory steps your firm can take now
- The passport rules for travel between the UK and the rest of Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal. Read your local government’s guidance on travelling to and fro the UK if there’s no Brexit deal (For UK businesses, see here) and, if relevant, ensure your employees and customers are aware of the potential changes.
- Consider how changes to transit systems and an increased demand for safety and security, and customs declarations will impact your business, and consider further equipping your staff.
- Consider specific new requirements in the European Commission’s stakeholder notices also known as Brexit preparedness notices, some of which are listed below.
Where to look for information
- Find more specific changes impacting all road transport companies: regarding certificates, licences and attestations, and access to the UK / EU market in the EU Commission’s stakeholder notice for road transport field.
- Brexit consequences concerning the treatment of taxable transactions and VAT refunds are stipulated in the European Commission’s notice to stakeholders in the field of VAT.
- Finally, the UK government website’s page on Brexit is elaborate with useful general preparatory information.
GOV.UK. (2018, August 23). Government Publications. Retrieved from GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-for-businesses-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/vat-for-businesses-if-theres-no-brexit-deal
TIME Magazine. (2018, August 6). TIME.COM. Retrieved from TIME Magazine : http://time.com/5358452/britain-no-deal-brexit/