How to mitigate the burden of Brexit disruption


This article was originally published in Global Trade Magazine on Nov. 20, 2020

By David Merritt, Director, Global Trade Consulting

It’s difficult to believe, but after nearly six years of debate and disruption, the end of the Brexit saga is close at hand. There are less than two months left until the official departure of the UK from the EU, and with each passing day the possibility of a mutually agreeable free trade arrangement between the two parties becomes less likely.

For businesses engaged in trade across the English Channel and the Irish Sea, this is likely to mean significant disorder in the form of long queues at customs checkpoints, a deluge of new documentation with which to reckon and the expense of new taxes and tariffs. Just as an example, the total volume of customs declarations is due to rise by 20% after Brexit Day.

For their part, the governments in London and Brussels are doing what they can to provide relief to those businesses that will inevitably experience adversity with the onset of Brexit. As part of this, the British government has introduced a new process called Entry in Declarants Records or EIDR. It is being made available only to those businesses that do not trade in controlled goods, such as food, chemicals, medicines, etc.

Why It Matters to Trading Businesses

As noted above, businesses engaged in trade will face a series of setbacks as the UK and EU part ways, the foremost of which will be border delays. The EIDR allows businesses to import goods into the UK without providing a full or even partial customs declaration at the point of import. That means quicker and easier release of shipments and, in turn, shorter delays. It also allows for the deferral of Value-Added Taxes (VATs) using the introduction of Postponed Accounting for VAT (PVA) and duties, as well as the deferral of supplementary declarations for individual or bulk shipments. This not only provides financial relief in the short term, but also a smoother transition into the customs regime.