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CUSTOMS

If there is no Withdrawal Agreement, will I have to comply with some kind of customs formality after the date of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union?

Yes. Among other matters, you will have to present the corresponding customs declaration if you wish to ship merchandise to or from the UK.

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

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

Your company should get in touch with a customs or transit agent, who could advise you on the formalities requirements and the preparation of any prior documentation necessary.

Shipments or acquisitions will be subject to import and/or export formalities that translate into the need to present a customs declaration, and will be subject to the corresponding controls.

These declarations are electronic, and hence you will need to have the necessary software to make shipments, if the company handles these itself, or contract a customs representative, as the case may be.

Each company must closely analyse the goods it works with, be aware of its customs classification, since customs fees and other levies depend on that classification, as well as the authorisations and/or licences necessary for imports/exports.

From a VAT standpoint, exports are exempt therefrom while imports are subject to VAT, which will be settled by customs. 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.

From a point of view of Special Taxes, the shipment of products subject to Special Manufacturing Taxes (hydrocarbons, alcohol and alcoholic drinks and tobacco) will be considered to be shipments made to third countries, and subject to the tax treatment provided for imports and exports.

From the point of view of SOIVRE [Official Inspection, Surveillance and Regulation of Exports Service] controls, the company must comply with European regulations of matters of commercial quality in the case of perishable goods (labelled, commercial documentation and other additional documentation as the case may be). For the import of certain industrial products, the company must comply with EU market requirements and comply with essential security requirements (toys, electrical material, textiles and footwear, individual protective equipment, furniture and others).

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.
 

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.
  • Certain goods will be subject to prohibitions or restrictions, or it will be necessary to obtain licences or authorisations issued by the competent authorities to bring them in, as well as the presentation of certificates, labelling requirements and other documentation.
  • 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.

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