Brexit Bulletin, 8 February 2019

Feb 06, 2019

This week the UK Prime Minister travelled to Brussels seeking to reopen the Brexit talks while the Taoiseach was also in the Belgian capital where he got reassurance from the EU that the withdrawal agreement was not open for renegotiation.  In other developments, the UK announced several customs procedures for businesses that trade with the EU in the event of a no-deal.  An agreement to maintain the Common Travel Area between Ireland and the UK is also ready to sign.

Common Travel Area

The UK and Irish governments are almost ready to sign an agreement to ensure the continuation of the Common Travel Area. This will mean that all British citizens living in Ireland and all Irish citizens in the UK: can continue to live and work as normal without any further action.  Read the message from the British Ambassador to Ireland.

Simplified UK customs procedures if no deal

HMRC will introduce simplified customs procedures for 145,000 UK importers who trade with the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  This will give traders a chance to prepare to apply the same customs processes when trading with the EU that already apply when trading with the rest of the world.  These simplified procedures will be in place for at least a year from 29 March 2019.

HMRC have written to affected traders telling them about the Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for customs which will make importing easier for a year after Brexit in the event of a no-deal.

Businesses must register for TSP to be able to transport goods from the EU into the UK without having to make full customs declarations at the border. Traders are able to postpone paying import duties for a month after import.  Import VAT will be due on the next VAT return rather than when the goods arrive at the UK border.

Businesses can register for TSP from 7 February 2019 if they are established in the UK, import goods from the EU and have an EORI number.  

More information on the TSP can be found on and you can also read a copy of the letter sent to traders.

Roll on roll off ferries

Traders who use vehicles to drive onto ferries or trains to transport goods into or out of the UK will face additional customs obligations from 29 March 2019 in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  Traders using roll on roll off locations such as Dover port or the Channel Tunnel will have to submit customs declarations and pay any customs duty, excise duty or VAT that’s due.

Importing from the EU

If a trader imports goods into the UK from the EU using a roll on roll off listed location, they must make customs declarations before putting the goods on the ferry or train in the EU.  This is done by completing a Single Administrative Document (SAD) and filing it electronically. Customs declarations cannot be made when the goods arrive into the UK.

To prepare for these declarations, traders need to get an EORI number and decide whether they will use a customs agent or do the customs declarations themselves. If they decide to complete the customs declarations themself, they will need to buy software to make the declarations using CHIEF or the new Customs Declaration Service.  

Traders can apply for HMRC’s simplified customs procedures (TSP) to make sure that they can carry on transporting goods and to make customs processes easier to complete.

Once a customs declaration is made, a master reference number will be generated to show that a full or simplified customs procedure has been made.

Traders must then tell the HMRC that the goods have arrived and HMRC will take a direct debit for duties and taxes on the 15th day of the month after the goods arrive in the UK.

HMRC have provided further detailed information on these procedures as well as guidance for haulage companies, ferry operators and Channel Tunnel operators along with export procedures that should be adhered to for goods leaving the UK.  All information can be found on

Northern Ireland / Ireland trade

Different procedures will apply to trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland and more information will be provided as the procedures become known.

VAT rules and processes for no-deal

In the event of a no deal, there will be changes to the rules and processes for VAT IT systems including:

  • How to claim VAT refunds from EU countries
  • How to check the validity of UK VAT registration numbers
  • Reporting sales of digital services to consumers in the EU using the UK VAT Mini One Stop Shop
  • Making sales of digital services to consumers in the EU

Read the guidance on

UKCA mark

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessment) is the new UK product marking that will be used for certain goods being placed on the UK market.  In most cases the CE marking to demonstrate compliance with legal requirements to sell goods on the UK market can still be used.  Read more on

Read all of our Brexit updates on the dedicated Brexit section of our website.