Brexit Bites, 12 February 2021

Feb 10, 2021

This week’s Brexit Bites looks at the reports of the huge volume of customs documentation processed by Revenue in January. We also focus on, HMRC’s guidance on VAT treatment of transactions on movements of goods that span the end of the transition period, the list of agents in the UK who can assist with submitting customs declarations, further guidance on the Rules of Origin as well as an update on the CHIEF system in Northern Ireland.


Huge volume of paperwork processed by Revenue officials
It’s been reported that Revenue officials processed more customs declarations in January than in all of last year. Customs IT systems have struggled to cope with the increased volume of declarations resulting from a huge amount of paperwork with officials admitting it has caused much difficulty for businesses. Revenue announced this week that it had processed over 1.8 million declarations in January. By way of contrast 1.6 million declarations were processed in 2020.  

Customs transit requirements - moving goods through Great Britain to other EU countries
Revenue has outlined the customs transit requirements for businesses moving goods through Great Britain to other EU countries. Exporters of goods from Ireland, through GB, to another European Union (EU) Member State, are legally obliged to submit an electronic transit declaration to Irish Customs. If goods are sent through GB to another EU Member State using a RoRo ferry service (accompanied or unaccompanied), a PBN must be submitted to Irish Customs. This notification must be submitted in advance of the goods leaving Ireland. Read more about moving goods through GB to other EU countries on

Registered Exporter system (REX) applications going electronic
The European Commission is updating its Registered Exporter system (the REX system) from a manual to an electronic web-based system. The system, which simplifies export procedures when declaring the origin of goods, will now be in line with the Union Customs Code (UCC) requirement that all exchange of information should be made electronically.  
The REX system is a system of self-certification by exporters who have been registered on REX. It simplifies export formalities by allowing the registered exporter to certify the preferential origin by including a specific declaration on the invoice or another commercial document identifying the exported products. Therefore, the registered exporter is not obliged to apply for a certificate of origin for each export. Unregistered exporters may certify the origin of goods for consignments having a value which is below €6,000. 
From the 25 January 2021, REX applications can be submitted electronically on the new REX system, which is accessed through the EU Trader Portal, on the Europa website. A valid EORI (Economic Operators Registration Identification) number is needed to access the system and you must also be registered for Customs and Excise on ROS to access the EU Trader Portal. Read more about REX on and Revenue’s eCustoms notification issued last week.

VAT -  EU Exit Transitional Provisions
HMRC has issued guidance on the VAT treatment of transactions or movements of goods which span the end of the transition period. Find out more here.

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators
The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations has been updated by HMRC.

UK government Business Advisor Training Sessions
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have told us that they are  hosting a further series of free webinars for business advisers. These sessions are intended to help you to understand the new trading rules with the EU, so you can help the businesses you work with adapt to make the necessary changes.

  • You will receive our standard Business Readiness PowerPoint presentations and script for use at your own events/discussions containing information on the actions businesses can take.
  • We will host the training sessions, to help you use the material and will keep these updated, as we progress through 2021.
  • We are running 3 sessions and these sessions will take place throughout February and March at 230pm on 16 and 23 February and 3 March.
  • Please note that all the sessions each cover the same content so you will only need to attend one.

To sign up please click here (Password: BIRD. Readiness).

Rules of Origin
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have published a  one page explainer document on the Rules of Origin and how they might impact your business.

CHIEF in Northern Ireland
An update on using CHIEF for declaring goods into or out of Northern Ireland has been issued by HMRC. In due course, all declarations in to and out of Northern Ireland will need to be made using the Customs Declaration Service. CHIEF can still be used for declaring goods entering Northern Ireland from outside the UK and EU  and businesses will be told by HMRC when to stop using it. Read more about using CHIEF for declaring goods into or out of Northern Ireland on GOV.UK.