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CUSTOMS

If there is no Withdrawal Agreement, will I have to complete any customs formalities after the date of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union?

Yes, starting on the withdrawal date, the UK will be considered a third country and therefore goods that are shipped to or from the UK will be treated as if they were shipped to or from any other country with which the EU has not entered into any trade or other agreement that may affect customs formalities.

Among other matters, this implies that you will have to present an export declaration to ship merchandise to or from the UK.

If I do not have any customs activity at this time, how may my company be affected by Brexit?

The shipping or acquisitions will be subject to export and/or import formalities that result in the need to present a customs declaration and be subject to the appropriate controls.

These declarations are electronic, so it is necessary to have the appropriate software available to carry out the shipping if it is done by the company itself, or hire a customs agent.

Internal development takes time, and depends on integration with the rest of the entity's management system.

Each company must analyse in detail the goods with which it works, knowing what their customs classification is, as the customs tariffs and other charges payable and the import/export authorisations or licences needed depend on this classification.

From the point of view of VAT, exports are deliveries that are exempt, and imports are subject to VAT that must be settled by customs.

VAT is paid within the tariff deadlines (10 or 30 days if a postponement is requested), unless you choose to defer the payment to the corresponding monthly statement. For this option, you must be entered in the REDEME system from November of the previous year.

From the point of view of special duties, the shipping or acquisition of products that are subject to Special Manufacturing Duties (hydrocarbons, alcohol and alcoholic drinks and tobacco) will be considered as shipping made to or from third-country non-EU territories, applying the tax treatment for imports and exports.

From the point of view of non-customs controls, the company must comply with EU legislation on commercial, health and phytosanitary quality established for perishables (labelling, commercial documentation and other additional documentation corresponding to each case). For the import of industrial products, the company must comply with the EU market requirements and conform to the essential safety requirements, as well as the specific technical regulations determined by EU regulations. In this case, companies must take into account that the trial and test reports issued by a notified body based in the UK will not be valid in the EU.

If a transition period is established, must Intrastat declarations be presented during this period?

If finally the UK leaves the EU with an agreement, and as a result a transition period is established, companies trading with the UK during this period must continue to submit the corresponding Intrastat declarations, even though for statistical purposes the UK will be considered a third country from 1 November.

Can I operate on the days before the Brexit date?

The most appropriate thing is to act sufficiently in advance so that at 00:00 hours (CET) on 1 November the goods shipped to the UK have already reached their final destination. It is not recommended to begin shipments to this destination if there is a risk that they will not be complete before the withdrawal date.

What happens if goods shipped before the Brexit date have not yet arrived at their destination on 23:59 hours on 31 October?

Depending on the system under which the shipment has taken place, the customs authorities may require compliance with the formalities applicable to shipments to third countries, so the operator will have to be prepared to provide new documentation that complies with them, change the destination of the goods, or have them returned to their point of dispatch.

Do I have to fulfil any formalities before the withdrawal date?

The only printed authorisation for customs formalities is the EORI, which can be requested through the electronic office of the AEAT (Spanish Tax Agency). According to the type of tax ID number, it is possible that registration is ex officio, although all operators are advised to verify whether they are registered, and if not, apply for registration, since this is a census that is not subject to any compulsory reporting.

However, depending on the type and volume of activity, other authorisations exist that may be appropriate, such as:

  • Global guarantee authorisation, which allows the customs/VAT debt to be settled at 30 days.
  • Simplified declaration procedures.
  • Declaration for temporary storage.
  • Transit simplifications.
  • Special regimes.

Do I have to make declarations myself or can I use a customs representative?

Customs rules provide that any individual can act in his/her own name or use a representative under direct or indirect forms of representation. Customs representatives must be registered in the corresponding AEAT register provided to this end.

How must I fill in customs declarations?

All declarations are electronic. The guides for different messages are published on the web page of the Spanish Tax Agency.

I am an operator established in the UK but I am currently involved in customs activities in Spain. How will the withdrawal affect me?

You EORI number and the rest of the customs authorisations issued by the UK will no longer be valid starting from the withdrawal date. To continue to operate you must apply for EORI registration in another Member State, as well as the rest of the authorisations linked to this number.

Must shipments and the receipt of products subject to Special Taxes be documented under the intra-EU EMCS system, with an electronic administrative document?

No. The intra-EU EMCS system is only applicable in relation to products that move under the suspension of excise duty regime between the territories of two Member States. The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union determines its status as a third country, and hence the movement under the suspension system of products subject to Special Taxes to or from the United Kingdom is not possible, nor will the EMCS system be applicable to these movements, which will hence be documented as imports or exports.

For operators that send goods to the United Kingdom

If there is no Withdrawal Agreement, will I have to complete any customs formalities after the date of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union?

Yes. Starting on the withdrawal date, the UK will be considered a third country and therefore merchandise that is shipped to the UK will be treated as if were shipped to any other country with which the EU has not entered into any trade or other agreement that may affect customs formalities.

Among other matters, this implies that to ship merchandise to the UK you will have to present an export declaration.

Will I have to pay customs tariffs and other levies in the United Kingdom?

In order to know which measures will be applicable in the United Kingdom, you should consult the information published on the following link.

What implications with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom have on VAT?

Shipments of goods to the United Kingdom will cease to be considered intra-EU consignments for the purposes of VAT rules and will become exports. For these purposes, the export declaration will substantiate the exemption on any export shipment.

What implications will the withdrawal of the United Kingdom have on Special Taxes?

These will become exports to a third country and, as such, these shipments will need to be processed (see frequently asked questions for operators that send products to the United Kingdom). The shipment of products subject to Special Taxes to the United Kingdom will cease to be considered movements between Member States, and hence the procedures on intra-EU movements provided for in Directive118/2008 will not be applicable.

Hence, products subject to Special Taxes may not be shipped under the suspension system, nor will procedures for guaranteed shipments or remote sale be applicable.

What procedure should I use to send products subject to Special Taxes to the United Kingdom?

The shipment of products subject to Special Taxes to the United Kingdom will be performed using the procedure provided for in the Special Taxes Act for exports.

How will the products originating in the EU and exported to trading partners under a preferential regime be affected, when they include raw materials or components from the UK?

Companies must take into account that starting on 31 October input materials (raw materials, components and intermediate goods) from the UK will be considered of "non-EU origin". This is important within the framework of preferential trading systems that the EU has with third countries, in which the EU origin of the goods has to be proved in accordance with the rules contained in the preferential agreement. The operator is advised to check whether the goods still have preferential EU origin and ensure that this origin can be proved.

For operators that bring over goods from the United Kingdom

If there is no Withdrawal Agreement, will I have to complete any customs formalities after the date of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union?

Yes. Starting on the withdrawal date, the UK will be considered a third country and therefore merchandise from the UK will be treated as if it were shipped from any other country with which the EU has not entered into any trade or other agreement that may affect customs formalities.

Among other matters, this implies that you will have to present an entry summary declaration, arrival notification, temporary storage declaration and customs declaration for any merchandise shipped from the UK.

What formalities and controls will goods from the United Kingdom be subject to?

Goods from the United Kingdom will be subject to customs supervision and control, which will mean, inter alia:

  • Application of the corresponding customs tariffs and levies.
  • Some goods will be subject to prohibitions or restrictions, or licences or authorisations issued by the competent bodies will be required for their entry.
  • Compliance with customs formalities (presentation of declarations required under customs rules).
  • The customs authorisations issued by the United Kingdom will cease to be valid in the EU. In addition, non-customs controls may apply.

Will I have to pay customs tariffs and/or other levies if I bring over goods from the United Kingdom?

Yes. The imported goods, unless a special regime is opted for, will mean the payment of customs tariffs and other antidumping duties, VAT or Special Taxes.

Levies depend on the origin of the goods, their value at customs - in general the price paid or due to be paid with the appropriate adjustments - and their customs classification.

As regards their origin, the customs tariffs applicable will be required that are presently imposed on third parties with which the European Union has no type of special agreement.

As regards their value, companies should revise their incoterms, since depending on these, it may be necessary to make adjustments on the value paid (up or down).

As regards VAT, their operations will cease to be considered intra-EU acquisitions and become imports for the purposes of VAT. The main consequence is that VAT will be settled with the import declaration and should be deposited in the corresponding periods. VAT deposits are made with customs deadlines (10 to 30 days if deferment is requested), unless you opt to defer the payment to the corresponding monthly return. This option requires registration in REDEME [Monthly Return Regime] and should be exercised in November of the previous year.

To know what measures will be applicable in the UK, you should read the information published in this link.

What procedure should I use to receive products subject to Special Taxes from the United Kingdom?

The receipt of products subject to Special Taxes from the United Kingdom will be performed using the rules and procedures provided for in the Special Taxes Act for imports.

Can I receive products subject to Special Taxes with an electronic administrative document under the EMCS system?

No. The shipment of products subject to Special Taxes to the United Kingdom will cease to be considered movements between Member States, and hence the procedures on intra-EU movements provided for in Directive 118/2008 will not be applicable.

Hence, products subject to Special Taxes from the United Kingdom may not be received under the suspension system, nor may documents be used as provided for intra-EU movements, particularly electronic administrative documents.

Do I need to comply with any formalities before the withdrawal date?

If you do not already have an economic operator registration or identification number (EORI number), you should apply for this from the electronic office of the AEAT (Spanish Tax Agency). Furthermore, you should assess whether you wish to obtain another type of simplified customs authorisation (global guarantee, abbreviated declaration procedures, etc.).

If there is no withdrawal agreement for the UK, what will happen after the UK's withdrawal from the EU with merchandise brought from the UK that is subject to excise duties?

These will be considered imports from third countries and, as such, the receipt of these products will need to be processed (see frequently asked questions for operators that bring in goods from the United Kingdom).

In the event of the UK's withdrawal without an agreement, will the intra-Community EMCS continue to apply after the withdrawal date?

It will no longer be possible to send or receive any message to/from the United Kingdom through the intra-EU EMCS electronic application.

For more information, consult the web page of the Spanish Tax Agency

For more information, consult the ICEX web page

Non official translation