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Customs digest

Welcome! Welcome to the first edition of what we intend to be a regular complimentary newsletter to our business connections who are likely to have an interest in Customs trends and issues. We hope you find it useful. Ian Worth Head of Harwood Hutton Customs Consultancy LLP

Brexit extension: Now ‘no-deal’ is looking increasingly unlikely

There will be an extension to the UK’s departure date from the EU, which will now be 31 January 2020, with options to leave on 1 December 2019 or 1 January 2019 if a deal can be finally agreed by then. However, given that a General Election will take place on 12 December, it would seem unlikely that a UK exit could be possible before 31 January. If the General Election returns a hung parliament, we should expect further Brexit delays. In the meantime, a ‘no-deal’ Brexit looks increasingly unlikely.

No-Deal easements

A number of ‘easements’ are intended to reduce the potential for border delays in the event of a no-deal Brexit. By now, all UK importers should have a GB EORI number and have been registered for TSP – Transitional Simplified Procedures. There will also be a temporary Customs tariff, eliminating customs duty on 87% of all imported goods, and import VAT will be postponed for VATregistered businesses. If you would like to know more about how these arrangements affect your supply chains, please get in touch.

HMRC announces extra £10m to help build Customs capability

HMRC has announced a further £10 million in grants for Customs agents and intermediaries to help build Customs capability. The grants are available to businesses based in or with a branch in the UK that currently complete Customs declarations for importers and exporters. They are available to support costs of hiring staff, including £3,000 for recruitment costs, and up to £10,000 for salary costs to help build business capacity. You are encouraged to apply early as applications will close once all the funding has been allocated, and by 31 January 2020 at the latest. Those who have applied for the first and second wave may apply again as part of this new wave of grants. PwC is administering the grants on behalf of HMRC as an accredited grant administrator. To find more information or to apply, please click the link below: https://www.customsintermediarygrant.co.uk/

Incoterms 2020: Two big changes

Incoterms 2020 were published in September 2019 and will come into effect on 1 January 2020. This means that if a contract is entered into on or after 1 January 2020 it is likely Incoterms 2020 shall apply unless the contract says otherwise. Incoterms users can, if they clearly specify it in the contract, carry on using Incoterms 2010 if they want to. Some of the key changes are:

1. Delivered at Terminal (DAT) has changed to Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU). The substance is the same but this change was made as feedback from users wanted an Incoterm that allowed delivery not just at a terminal

2. The insurance requirement for Carriage, Insurance and Freight (CIF) remains at Clause C. However, the cover for Carriage and Insurance Paid (CIP) has changed to Clause A. The reason is that CIF is usually applied to bulk commodity trades and CIP is more often used for manufactured goods and used in multi-modal situations

Many UK businesses are looking at the Incoterms they use, particularly as part of their Brexit preparations. We recommend anybody using DDP or EXW should ensure their customers and suppliers fully understand the extent of their obligations (which will change following Brexit).

Lots of AEO interest at Preparing For Brexit conference in London

We were delighted to take part in the London Chamber of Commerce’s Preparing For Brexit Conference in Westminster on October 29th. There were some excellent presentations and we enjoyed several conversations with exporters and importers eager to learn more about Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status and how it could play into their Brexit strategies.

For more details on any of the featured articles, or to make contact, call Ian Worth on 07960 958203

Awards & Affiliations

Client Testimonials
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    Robin Berry – Morgan Management
  • Right from the outset Harwood Hutton gave us direction and great advice – and that advice has evolved over the years as we’ve grown. We’re both medium-sized companies providing a bespoke service – one furniture, one accountancy – and the relationship works.

    Andy McCarron, McCarron and Co
  • I’m deeply impressed with Harwood Hutton’s extensive knowledge of tax arrangements for residential and commercial property landlords.

    Qadeer Ahmed, MD, ABA Finance
  • They really took their time to understand what was important to us and our business and the expertise we required. Whoever we speak to at HH, we get the same fantastic response and technical input. It’s a real partnership.

    Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
  • I have worked with the directors at Harwood Hutton on a number of mutual client matters over many years. The reassurance of their clear, commercial and focussed advice is one of the main reasons I regard this as one of my most valuable professional relationships.

    Frank Wessely, Partner, Quantuma LLP
  • Harwood Hutton never seem to rest on their laurels. They are always seeking out new avenues and ways to improve their offering. A very forward-thinking company with staff who are always well briefed and who approach each task with drive.

    Karl Austen, MD, Surefoot Communications
  • We have engaged Harwood Hutton in several areas of structuring, including VAT issues, decoupling an SPV from a group structure and HMRC clearance for a transaction. The team have exceeded all expectations by being proactive, measured and very thorough.

    Adam Fawsitt, Director, FHT Limited
  • We moved to Harwood Hutton as they delivered a succinct and professional proposal. If anything, we have been more impressed post-move. They are a fantastic company to work with. They do truly differentiate. They have the skills and capabilities of a mega firm but with a personal service.

    Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
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