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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

HMRC answer frequently asked questions on new trade rules

Date: Wednesday 03 February 2021

New rules for businesses that trade with Europe are here. Now that the Brexit transition period has ended, all businesses that move goods between Great Britain and countries in the EU, or under the Northern Ireland Protocol, must follow new customs and tax rules since 1 January 2021. HMRC have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the new trade rules.

1. Customs processes are complicated. Who can help me complete them?

Most traders find that they need specialist support to help with importing from or exporting to the EU. For instance, you might decide to use a customs intermediary.

A customs intermediary is someone who makes customs declarations for you or your business. This could be:

If you decide to use an intermediary, make sure you approach them as soon as possible, as there is high demand for these services. You can find a list of businesses that can help on GOV.UK.

There are still specific actions you will need to take if you get an intermediary to help you with your customs declarations. You will:

For more information, you can:

2. My business is located in the United Kingdom and I export goods to EU customers, can you explain how I should account for VAT?

If you sell, send or transfer goods out of the UK you do not normally need to charge VAT on them in the UK. You can zero-rate most exports from:

If you incorrectly charge UK VAT on exports of goods, your customers may also have to pay VAT in the country where the goods are imported.

Different rules may apply in different countries. Therefore, it’s important that you understand the import VAT rules of each EU country that you sell to.

You can find out more about exports, sending goods abroad and charging VAT on GOV.UK.

3. I send goods from the United Kingdom to my customers in the EU, has anything changed about how I should account for VAT?

Yes. Previously, before the end of the transition period:

Now, following the end of the transition period: