Brexit Bites, 26 March 2021

Mar 25, 2021

This week’s Brexit Bites covers a letter written by the Institute to the Tánaiste seeking clarification of whether Northern Ireland resident directors can be regarded as EEA residents for the purposes of section 137 of the Companies Act 2014. We also wrote to HMRC seeking an update on the duties reimbursement scheme.  Readers can also find out more details about the UK’s SME Brexit Support Fund which is now open for applications and you can also access our latest edition of Brexit Digest.  

Requirement to have an EEA resident director – letter to Tánaiste

Section 137 of the Companies Act 2014 requires an Irish-registered company to have at least one EEA-resident director, which until the 31 December 2020 could include a UK (including NI) resident director.  Following correspondence with the CRO, we wrote to the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar last week to seek clarification on the impact (if any) that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement concluded between the EU and UK has on this requirement, and whether NI resident directors in particular will be recognised as meeting this condition. We are aware that this issue is of concern to many members, and we will keep you updated.  Read the letter.

Reimbursement scheme – Institute seeks update from HMRC

EU tariffs may apply to goods brought into NI from GB if there is a risk that the goods will subsequently be moved to the EU. If it can be proven that goods stay in NI, the Joint Committee set up under the Protocol agreed that there would be measures to allow for exemptions, or a potential reimbursement of duties paid.  There has been commentary and some guidance on the exemptions but little in the way of guidance on how the reimbursement scheme will work.  

Businesses have reported to us in many instances they have to declare the goods at risk (and pay the associated tariffs) at time of import and subsequently the goods are deemed not at risk.  We have written to HMRC seeking clarity for these businesses on how this reimbursement scheme will work as the process of declaring goods at risk and then seeking a refund has in many cases significant cash flow implications.   Read the letter.

Rules of Origin Webinar – 30 March 10am

Many companies were taken by surprise after 1st January to discover that tariffs applied to many goods moving between GB, EU, and NI. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) reached between the EU and UK allows tariff and quota free trade but only for trade in goods that meet the Rules of Origin criteria set down in the TCA. If the complex Rules of Origin are misapplied, goods will be held up at ports and borders, leading to delays, costs, and supply chain disruption. 

This course is suitable for accountants, and others, who either work in, or advise, organisations who trade with NI, GB, or the EU. Book here.

Northern Ireland – Updated guidance on declaring goods not at risk and using CHIEF

Declaring goods you bring into Northern Ireland not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU 

Guidance has been updated for declaring goods not ‘at risk’ in the Customs Declaration service and making a customs declaration in CHIEF for goods entering Norther Ireland from outside the UK and EU. For more information, click  here.

Using CHIEF for declaring goods into or out of Northern Ireland

Guidance to help you find out when you will still be able to use CHIEF for declaring goods into or out of NI has been updated with new information about how to make a declaration for your goods in CHIEF into and out of NI, and how to apply for authorisation to declare goods not ‘at risk’. For more information, click here.

SME Brexit Support Fund – applications now open

Details of how to apply for the SME Brexit Support Fund have been added to gov.uk. The UK government has made £20 million available to help SMEs new to importing and exporting. Provided certain eligibility criteria are met, HMRC may provide funding towards the costs of training and/or professional advice, to help businesses with changes to trade rules with the EU. The SME Brexit Support Fund could give businesses up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice if a business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover. 

Find out more  information on eligibility for the fund and apply online. Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date. 

Latest edition of Brexit Digest

In this week’s Brexit Digest which issued on Wednesday, we bring you HMRC’s response to our recent letter regarding the need for a soft-landing in respect of VAT changes as well as the Institute’s response to the call for evidence on the operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. We also bring you updated guidance on the UK’s Trader Support Service as well as recordings of webinars delivered by the Institute in conjunction with HMRC and Revenue. Read Brexit Digest.