Brexit Bulletin, 17 July 2020

Jul 17, 2020

In today’s Brexit Bulletin – Both the EU and UK have released their statements following the second meeting of Specialised Committee on Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol on 16 July. The UK government has also published their new Border Operating Model aimed towards providing clarity and certainty for traders and the border industry at the end of the transition period. You can also read the European Commission’s new communication, Getting ready for changes, which highlights the main areas of change that will take place at the end of the transition period, irrespective of whether or not there is an agreement on a future partnership between the two blocs.

 

Statements following the second meeting of Specialised Committee on Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol

The EU and UK held the second meeting of the Specialised Committee on the implementation and application of the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland on Thursday 16 July. The meeting was held in Brussels and was co-chaired by officials from the UK government and European Commission. A representative from the Northern Ireland Executive also attended as a part of the UK delegation.

The EU and the UK took stock of the implementation work on both sides and continued their discussions on the decisions the Joint Committee is tasked with taking before the end of the transition period.

As per a statement released following the meeting, the EU have highlighted yet again that “the proper and timely implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement remains a key priority for the EU”. They also reiterated their commitment towards working with the UK on all aspects of the negotiations. As per the UK’s statement, their position continues to remain focused on protecting the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. They also restated the central importance of protecting Northern Ireland’s place in the UK’s customs territory as set out in their Command Paper.

The parties committed to organise a third Specialised Committee meeting in the early autumn of 2020 as well.

 

UK government publishes new border operating model

The UK government have published their new Border Operating Model aimed towards providing clarity and certainty for traders and the border industry at the end of the transition period. The Model also includes technical detail on how the border with the European Union (EU) will work after the transition period and the actions that traders, hauliers, ports and carriers need to take. The Model also refers to steps traders must take now to continue seamless trade with the EU following the end of the Brexit transition period.

Some of these steps are:

  • Get a customs intermediary: Intermediaries can help traders find the information needed to complete formalities and submit the required declarations, for example customs information to HMRC systems.
  • Apply for a duty deferment account: Traders who import goods regularly, may benefit from having a duty deferment account. This enables customs charges including customs duty, excise duty, and import VAT to be paid once a month through Direct Debit instead of being paid on individual consignments.
  • Prepare to pay or account for VAT on imported goods.
  • Ensure traders have International Driving Permits.
  • Apply for a GB Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. This is required for all businesses moving goods into or out of the UK.

The publication of this model follows the announcement of a £705 million investment into new infrastructure, jobs, and technology at GB-EU border. This will include £470 million to build infrastructure such as border control posts, and £235m for IT systems and the hire of around 500 more Border Force personnel.

 

Getting ready for changes: Communication on Brexit readiness issued by Commission

Following last week’s discussions between chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterparts, Mr Barnier has confirmed that significant divergences remain between the EU and UK. While there is a common commitment to continue working together with patience, respect and  determination, the European Commission has published a communication on readiness at the end of the transition period between the EU and the UK. Titled, “Getting ready for changes”, this document highlights the main areas of change that will take place in any event as of the end of the transition period, irrespective of whether or not there is an agreement on a future partnership between the two blocs.

The document also urges public administrations, businesses and citizens in the EU to urgently take all the necessary readiness measures to prepare for these changes with a view to minimising the cost of disruptions as much as possible.

 

“Check, Change, Go”: UK launches major new Brexit communication campaign

The UK government has announced the launch of a major new public information campaign, ‘The UK’s new start: let’s get going’. The campaign is aimed towards setting out the actions businesses and individuals need to take to prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. The campaign includes the “Check, Change, Go” tool which will help people and businesses to identify necessary next steps they need to take if travelling to the UK.

The campaign will run across the full range of communication channels, including TV advertising and radio, out of home, digital, print, and direct channels such as text messages and Webinars. The campaign will also see the launch of a field force team which will give one-to-one support in person or over the phone to businesses and their supply chains to minimise disruption to the movement of goods.

It will target UK citizens intending to travel to Europe from 1 January 2021 and all importers to and exporters from the EU, alongside UK nationals living in the EU and EU, EEA or Swiss citizens living in the UK.

 

Prepare to import goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021

The UK government has updated its guidance on importing goods from the EU into Great Britain from 1 January 2021. Take a look at some of the important links.

 

For further updates, visit our dedicated Brexit Hub.