Brexit – what can businesses do now?

May 20, 2019

HMRC are urging businesses to apply for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number which will allow them to move goods into or out of the EU. A reminder has also been issued that the grant scheme to support training and automation in the customs intermediaries sector closes later this month on 31 May. Businesses should register by 24 May to make sure they meet the application deadline. The full update from HMRC follows.

“The Government remains focused on ensuring our smooth and orderly withdrawal from the EU with a deal as soon as possible. An agreement has now been reached with the EU on an extension until 31st October at the latest, with the option to leave earlier as soon as a deal has been ratified.

Although Parliament has rejected leaving without a deal multiple times, this remains the legal default at the end of the extension period. A no deal exit can only happen at the end of the extension period.

In light of the extension, departmental ministers will make sensible decisions about the timing and pace at which some of its no deal preparations are progressing, but we will continue to prepare for all EU Exit scenarios.

There are EU election purdah restrictions in place across government until 23 May, which will limit public facing activity. However, HMRC will be in contact with you in the coming weeks to discuss what the extension will mean for you and your clients/members. When necessary we will update our advice on on how people should prepare.

Businesses can also sign up for the latest EU Exit news as it happens at, selecting ‘business help and education emails’, then ‘EU Exit’.

If you or your clients/members have already registered for a UK EORI number and for the transitional simplification procedures (TSP) for importers, there is no need to take any action to undo either. Registrations for both are still being accepted.

As part of an £8 million investment to support training and automation in the customs intermediaries sector, a £5 million grant scheme opened in December 2018, lasting until 31 May 2019. With the deadline for applications approaching, we’re asking that you remind your clients/members of the funding available through the grant.

The grant is available to support customs intermediaries and traders with training and IT costs ahead of the UK leaving the EU.  Increased capacity in this sector will be important whatever our future relationship with the EU.

We would particularly like to encourage applications for the training grants. These are available to intermediaries and traders completing customs declarations, or intending to complete customs declarations in the future.  The training grant could be used to support a business that is extending and taking on new staff, or to help train an existing employee to start completing customs declarations for the company. Training can be delivered by an external provider, or an in-house trainer.

The grant can also be used towards the cost of the new modular customs declarations training course which was launched in March as part of the Government’s wider investment in the sector.

More information on how businesses can apply, and a link to the online application page are available on GOV.UK. We encourage any interested businesses to register on the grant application page no later than Friday 24 May to allow time to complete their application by the deadline.”