As we await the response from the EU to the most recent Brexit withdrawal plan, just how prepared is your business? New statistics out reveal that only one fifth of small business have a ‘no deal’ plan in place, with the average spending £3,000 on their Brexit planning. If you are looking at the uncertainty ahead and wondering where to start, we thought we’d take a look at the key areas to address come Halloween.
Much has been made of the potential problems with importing goods from the EU, with a worst-case scenario of extended delays at the border leading to shortages in the UK. If you are one of the 240,000 businesses that import and export to and from the EU, a great first step is to make sure you have read HMRC’s preparation guide. This offers up suggestions on how to find and implement simplified procedures for importing, complying with regulations with advice on using an agent and EORI numbers (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) and much more. The ICAEW also has a useful guide which you can find here.
If we leave with a no deal on 31st October, then the 1st November will see the UK revert to third country status and all our trades with EU countries will immediately revert to WTO tariffs. Companies that deal exclusively with the EU will likely have little to no experience with this so familiarising yourself with WTO import and export tariff rates will give you a great starting point. You can find information on these tariffs here while this list of EU third countries could also provide useful.
While it can be tempting to think that not much will change between the currently aligned regulations from 31st October to 1st November, and hopefully this will prove to be the case, making sure that any contracts or compliance procedures you currently have in place are watertight in terms of their wording could help you avoid costly delays. The ICAEW has a list of the Government’s latest update here.
For those businesses dealing entirely within the UK, or with countries outside the EU, a no deal exit is clearly going to have less of an impact on your business. However, the preparations that we have suggested here could well be beneficial to all businesses, as staying informed and on top of the details could help you solidify and expand your business.
If you need any help with any aspect of Brexit financial planning, please do get in touch to see how we can help.