UK getting customs, VAT and excise regimes ready for no deal Brexit

08 February 2019

The UK Government is in the process of introducing new legislation in relation to customs, VAT and excise in the event that there is a "no deal" Brexit. A total of 20 Statutory Instruments were laid before the Parliament in January 2019.

In keeping with other areas, this no-deal legislation is aimed at preserving current EU legislation in UK law in the event of a no deal Brexit.



The UK Government is in the process of introducing new legislation in relation to customs, VAT and excise in the event of a no deal Brexit

In the course of January 2019, a total of 20 Statutory Instruments ("SI's") were laid before the UK Parliament to make necessary amendments to current UK customs, VAT and excise legislation should the UK leave the EU without a transitional arrangement.

Eleven of these SI's are in relation to customs procedures. Specifically, the SI's cover custom procedures in relation to cash controls, Intellectual Property rights, mutual assistance, safety and security, economic operators' registration and identification, exports, customs records and penalties.

Six of the SI's propose amendments to the current VAT legislation. These SI's set out provisions in relation to accounting procedures for import VAT, VAT for tour operators and VAT and personal reliefs for special visitors and goods permanently imported. The remaining three SI's are in relation to excise duties.

These SI's preserve or 'domesticate' current EU legislation which at the moment applies in the UK under section 2 of the European Communities Act 1972. The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 is due to repeal the 1972 Act on the date the UK withdraws from the EU; but it will also maintain EU legislation as part in UK law under a new category of 'retained EU law'.

These SI's are made or proposed for consideration under the UK Parliament's negative procedure. This means that the SI's do not require active approval by UK Parliament. Instead they would commence automatically without delay on a designated date, unless a motion to annul them is made (typically within 40 sitting days of the SI being laid). Most of the SI's are designated to come into force either at 11 pm on 29 March 2019 or a date to be appointed by the Treasury (i.e. the date of EU exit).

For assistance in ensuring compliance with customs and trade rules, please contact a member of our EU, Trade & Competition team.

Resources

A list of the legislation and explanatory memoranda relating to customs, VAT and excise in the event that there is "no deal" Brexit.

A podcast discussing the steps businesses should take on customs and trade compliance in preparation for Brexit.


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