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Importing goods from Portugal
Due to Brexit, the UK has left the Single Market & Customs Union and new rules now apply.
Traders and hauliers must take the steps outlined in the Border Operating Model: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-border-operating-model
The UK Government is implementing full border controls on moving goods between GB and the EU. The introduction of these border controls is to be made in three stages, from 1 January 2021, from 1 January 2022 and from 1 July 2022 onwards.
Detailed guidance on how border controls will work is available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/925140/BordersOpModel.pdf
The process for importing goods to the UK has changed.
Businesses in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) need to follow official guidelines to continue importing from the EU from 1 January 2021: https://www.gov.uk/prepare-to-import-to-great-britain-from-january-2021
Please check if you need customs clearance from UK border: https://www.gov.uk/import-customs-declaration
Guidance on moving goods into, out of and through Northern Ireland is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/moving-goods-into-out-of-or-through-northern-ireland
If you require help to trade into or out of Northern Ireland, the free Trader Support Service can guide you through the process.
- Make sure you have an EORI number.
- Check any additional certification or licenses e.g. livestock, food, chemicals or alcohol.
- Understand VAT requirements and obligations.
- Decide if you will defer import declarations (only for standard goods).
- Decide if you will use a customs intermediary or make your own declarations.
- Find out if any Customs Special Procedures apply to your imports.
- Check UK tariffs in case of a no deal.
- Consider duty deferment options (can be paid up to six months later).
Yes, import VAT are due on imports of goods from the EU in the same way as for imports of goods from the rest of the world.
However, from 1 January 2021 “postponed accounting” for VAT will apply to all imports of goods. This means VAT registered UK businesses will no longer have to pay the import VAT upfront but can pay and recover it at the same time through their VAT return: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-imports-acquisitions-and-purchases-from-abroad
Businesses that are not registered for VAT in the UK may be able to delay the payment of import VAT by applying for their own duty deferment account or using the facility offered by their shipping agents.
Businesses should ensure they have applied for a UK EORI number as their EU EORI number will no longer be valid in the UK.
Additional customs documentation will be required as the UK is now considered a ‘third country’ -customs entries, customs commercial invoices, packing lists, waybills and in some cases certain proof of origin certificates, health certificates and import/export licences will be needed to move goods from the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Exporters and importers moving their goods, whether by road or air, will be required to have access to existing and new HMRC computer systems. These will monitor the movement of goods and the vehicles moving them. Additionally, systems will monitor whether goods are simply transiting other EU states before they reach their final destination.
From 1 January 2022, goods exported from Great Britain to the EU and goods imported from the EU to Great Britain (with the exception of goods being imported from Ireland) will be subject to full customs controls.
Since 1 January 2021, all goods imported into the UK from the EU require an accurate import declaration. As a transitional measure, HMRC allowed businesses to make deferred Customs declarations up to 175 days (nearly 6 months) after the date of import and pay any relevant duty at that stage.
If your goods are entering Great Britain from EU countries other than the Republic of Ireland, you will no longer be able to delay making import customs declarations under the Staged Customs Controls rules that have applied during 2021.
If you’re importing non-controlled goods from Irish ports, there are no changes at the moment and it is still possible to present deferred Customs declarations up to 175 days, as long as you make an entry in declarants imports at the time of import.
Please advise on how to submit your customs declarations and pay any duties that are due, as there are penalties in place for wrongly submitted declarations and delays: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/civil-penalties-for-contraventions-of-customs-law-customs-notice-301
Please check a trade checklist for businesses prepared by the British Chambers of Commerce https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/media/get/BCC%202022%20Borders%20Checklist-2.pdf and a guidance from the UK Government transition webpage at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-for-uk-transition
You must submit an import pre-notification on the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) to notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) about imports from the EU of live animals and germinal products, as well as products of animal origin (such as meat, fish, dairy, and composite products), animal by-products and high-risk food not of animal origin that are exported from the EU to Great Britain (GB). A IPAFFS code is required for customs declaration.
Guidance on the import of animal, food and plant goods here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/import-of-products-animals-food-and-feed-system and https://transport-goods-to-and-from-eu.dft.gov.uk/
You can contact Animal & Plant Health Agency https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/animal-and-plant-health-agency and DeFRA https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs
However, there is no export tax that would be due, and the only tax I would need to pay is any VAT and duties upon import into the UK. Can you clarify this for me please?
Before Brexit, British companies not registered for VAT in the UK (or in any other EU country) would need to cover VAT in Portugal (if registered, they would be exempt), as per determined from the EU VAT Directive.
However, since 1 January 2021, the new trade regulations determine this VAT Directive no longer applies to the UK. As such, transactions of goods from Portuguese to British companies are exempt of export VAT.
Thus, the Portuguese company will need to state on the invoice that this operation is exempt of VAT according to the Portuguese VAT Regulation (relevant legislation in Portuguese here).
We also recommend that you consult the guide from the European Commission regarding Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Rules in the field of Value Added Tax (VAT) for Goods.