In order to continue trading goods with EU member states in the event of a no-deal Brexit, VAT-registered organisations need to have signed up for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. However, less than half the companies that require one have done so.
To try and prevent any disruption to trade, the government has confirmed it will begin automatically enrolling UK firms – they will be sent a number within two weeks.
If a company does not have an EORI number, and should the UK leave Europe without a deal, then it will not be allowed to trade with EU member states at all. HMRC reports that there are many companies that have only ever traded within the EU that have not yet applied for this number.
Earlier this year HMRC sent a number of letters to the 145,000 VAT registered businesses that trade with the EU to advise them on how to prepare for a no deal scenario, and has published more than 100 pages of guidance for businesses on processes and procedures at the border in a no deal scenario. So far, 72,000 companies had registered for an EORI number. The government said its auto-enrolment scheme would mean 88,000 more firms would be registered.
If you have any questions about your companies need (or not) for an EORI number please contact Liz Hill
or Rob Geary
for further information.