Revenue and HMRC updates

Recent communications and updates from Revenue and HMRC on the new trading environment. Last updated 1 February 2021.

Revenue update

Revenue has a dedicated Brexit information hub on where readers can find information about trade facilitation and customs procedures for trade with the UK after the transition period.

Information hub

The Government of Ireland information hub has practical information from a number of different Government Departments,  including video recordings of Revenue's recent webinars to assist businesses in their Brexit preparations. 

It provides content under six steps to preparing your business:

Step 1: Customs
Step 2: Other Controls
Step 3: Product Compliance
Step 4: Supply Chain
Step 5: Financial Management
Step 6: Other Considerations 


Revenue continues to support trade and business in adapting to the new customs formalities arising from the UK’s departure from the EU. In this regard, a detailed step-by-step guide on how to create and correctly populate a PBN was published on

Revenue has also published the following on RoRo movements - Temporary facilitation for ENS and provides the following Customs advice to hauliers and truck drivers moving goods from Great Britain (GB) into Irish ports.

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Automated Import System

The new system, the “Automated Import System (AIS)” was implemented by Revenue on November 23 2020. This system was introduced to comply with the provisions of the Union Customs Code (UCC). It will ensure that businesses can import goods legally from outside the EU (including the UK) using the most efficient process possible.

Revenue has updated a number of Tax and Duty Manuals (TDMs) to incorporate these changes. Revenue eBrief No. 210/20 confirmed the following TDMs have been updated to incorporate these changes:

  1. Valuation
  2. Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties
  3. Preferential Origin
  4. Customs Import Procedures

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Guidance and key information

Revenue has also published updated guidance and key information in its dedicated Brexit section. Here readers can find information on popular topics such as

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Take these steps

Revenue continues to ask each business to urgently take the following steps:

  1. Get fully and accurately informed on what Brexit means for the business
  2. Undertake an immediate Brexit impact assessment.

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HMRC update


Note: HMRC wants to make sure anyone viewing a manual knows to check GOV.UK for the latest information. To this end it is adding a banner on each manual's page with the following message: ‘You should check the other guidance available on GOV.UK from HMRC as Brexit updates to those pages are being prioritised before manuals.’ It is updating manuals regularly, so a list of updated manuals, or sections of manuals, would quickly become out of date. As such, HMRC encourages readers to look first at the GOV.UK content (see below).

HRMC recently published the following: "New rules for trading with Europe are here  

New customs and tax rules for trading with the European Union started on 1 January 2021. To continue trading with countries in the EU, there are actions businesses must take, to make sure they’re compliant and minimise costs and delays. 

Before businesses attempt to move their goods, they’ll need to:  

  • Get ready to make customs declarations – these are now needed for all exports from the UK and if a business is importing controlled goods. If a business import goods that are not controlled, they may be able to delay making their declarations for up to six months. More information can be found on GOV.UK.
  • Get expert help - we recommend businesses get a contract in place as soon as they can with a customs intermediary like a freight forwarder or customs broker. This is especially important if they’re exporting or importing controlled goods, as they won’t be able to delay their declarations.  
  • Make sure they know how to classify their goods, and how they’ll evidence their origin - a customs intermediary will also be able to help businesses ensure their goods are classified correctly. If businesses don’t classify their goods correctly or if they don’t accurately record the origin of the goods in their customs declaration, they may be charged the wrong amount of tax or duty. If a business decides not to hire an intermediary, they will need to do this themselves. 
  • Follow safety and security requirements for goods – businesses don’t need to make an entry summary declaration for goods they import into Great Britain from the EU between 1 January and 30 June 2021. If they’re moving goods outside the UK, businesses will need to make an exit summary declaration if they’ve not fulfilled safety and security requirements with a customs export declaration, unless the goods are covered by the limited temporary waiver or are going directly into Northern Ireland from Great Britain. More information is available on GOV.UK.   
  • If businesses are preparing to move goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol, they can register for the free Trader Support Service.

If businesses need further help:  

  • Attend one of our free webinars or watch one of our short films about importing and exporting.  
  • Use the transition checker on GOV.UK to understand HMRC processes for importing, exporting or customs relief or call the Customs & International Trade Helpline on 0300 322 9434."

GOV.UK has a dedicated Brexit information hub where readers can find out about the new rules that apply to things like travel and doing business with Europe. 

The Business Secretary continues to encourage businesses to to visit to see what actions need to be taken. Specifically he asks businesses to find out what the new rules mean for them, and to use the Brexit checker to get a personalised list of actions.

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UK Trader Scheme

The UK Trader Scheme launched on December 15  to support businesses moving goods from Great  Britain to Northern Ireland. 

Also published on 15 December (and updated 24 December) is guidance for companies to apply for authorisation for the UK Trader Scheme if they bring goods into Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021, specifically how to get authorised to declare goods they bring into Northern Ireland not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU so that EU duty will not be payable on those goods, and what to do about goods not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU from 1 January 2021 (last updated 31 December 2020) You can also find out which goods qualify for unfettered access when moving from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK.

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The HMRC have updated the list bringing together Customs, VAT and Excise EU Exit legislation and Customs notices that have the force of law applicable to UK transition. 

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List of ports and entry summary declarations

The HRMC has published a list of ports using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service from 1 January 2021, and information on entry summary declarations and exporting excise goods to the EU from 1 January 2021. 

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Climate Change Agreements

The HRMC has published information for what you need to report to the HMRC (and why) if you have a CCA and receive more than €500,000 a year in state aid.

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Sector-focused webinars and videos

HMRC have made available recorded webinars, including sector-focused webinars, to support businesses in the new rules and the actions to take.

  • Transition Webinars are still available here
  • Webinar on business travel and investing or establishing in the EU is now available on demand here

Sign up here to request recordings.

To further support firms, the Business Department has also launched a series of new, on demand videos to help businesses familiarise themselves with the new rules. These launched on 18 January. and The videos cover 18 topic areas, with additional sector signposting for 12 BEIS sectors.Topics include importing and exporting, trade, data, and audit and accounting. Businesses can select which videos to view from the list, or can choose their sector and see videos that are recommended for them.

Alphabetical list of video explainers

  1. Businesses and Trade Agreements (not yet available)
  2. Businesses Engaged in Emissions Trading
  3. Businesses Hiring Overseas Staff
  4. Businesses Involved in the Horizon 2020 Funding Service
  5. Businesses Involved with Data
  6. Businesses Operating Online
  7. Businesses Preparing and Auditing Financial Accounts
  8. Businesses who Import and Export
  9. Businesses Providing Services to EU Markets
  10. Businesses Shipping Waste between GB and EU
  11. Businesses Working with Intellectual Property
  12. Chemical Regulations
  13. Moving Goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland
  14. Placing and Selling Goods on the Market
  15. REACH Chemical Regulations
  16. Recognition of Professional Qualifications
  17. Rules of Origin
  18. Trade Tariffs 


Alphabetical list of sectors (signposting key videos for their sector)

  1. Aerospace
  2. Automotive
  3. Chemicals
  4. Civil Nuclear
  5. Construction
  6. Consumer Goods
  7. Electronics and Machinery
  8. Energy
  9. Life Sciences
  10. Metals and Other Materials
  11. Retail
  12. Services and Investment

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Key updates and developments

Set out below is a selection of the key updates, announcements, developments and/or guidance issued to help businesses and individuals prepare for the post transition period.

On 18 January, the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published 6 key actions many firms may need to take to avoid any potential disruption to their operations:

  1. Goods - if you import or export goods to the EU, you must get an EORI number, make customs declarations or employ an agent to do them for you, check if your goods require extra papers (like plant or animal products) and speak to the EU business you’re trading with to make sure they’re completing the right EU paperwork. There are also special rules that apply to Northern Ireland. Hauliers must obtain a Kent Access Permit and have a negative COVID test before they head to port in Kent

  2. Services - if you deliver services to the EU, you must check whether your professional qualification is recognised by the appropriate EU regulator

  3. People - if you need to hire skilled staff from the EU, you must apply to become a licensed sponsor

  4. Travel - if you need to travel to the EU for business, you must check whether you need a visa or work permit

  5. Data - if your goods are protected by Intellectual Property (IP), you will need to check the new rules for parallel exporting IP protected goods from the UK to the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. You risk infringing on IP rights if you do not follow the new rules

  6. Accounting and reporting - if your business has a presence in the EU you may need to change how you undertake accounting and reporting to ensure compliance with the relevant requirements

These 6 key actions should act as a guide for every business affected by the new rules, with more detailed, personalised advice available through the checker tool on

General guidance and information


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VAT, customs and tax

  • How VAT will apply to goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland for individuals and non-VAT-registered businesses has been updated. 
  • You can find newsletters from HMRC containing updates and guidance on Community, Common Transit and Transport International Routiers (TIR) here (last updated 7 January 2021).
  • HMRC webinars have now launched with ‘Making a Customs Declaration’ (last updated 5 January 2021) and more dates have been added to its customs import declarations webinar about how to complete customs import declarations. HMRC will be launching more webinars shortly and we will let you know once they are live.
  • HMRC has sent letters to VAT-registered businesses trading with the EU and/or the rest of the world, highlighting actions they need to take to continue trading with the EU from 1 January 2021. The letters explain what businesses need to do to prepare for new processes for moving goods at the end of the transition period. Also, these actions will not change regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. View the letters here
  • Claim refunds of UK VAT from 1 January 2021 if you're an EU business
  • Claim VAT refunds from EU countries from 1 January 2021
  • The Customs (Declarations) (Amendment and Modification) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 has been added to Customs, VAT and Excise UK transition legislation from 1 January 2021, which brings together Customs, VAT and Excise EU Exit legislation and Customs notices that have the force of law applicable to UK transition.
  • The list of customs agents and the list of fast parcel operators have been updated who can help submit customs declarations has been updated to 1 January 2021.
  • Updated guidance on the zero rate of VAT for the supply of PPE equipment reverting to the standard rate of VAT from 1 November 2020. 
  • This page tells you what declarations need to be made for goods you bring or receive into Great Britain or Northern Ireland (published 16 November).
  • Applying for grants if your business completes customs declarations for funding for recruitment, training and IT improvements: Information about General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER) is available here.
  • A new Cabinet Office Customer Forum is available providing a point of contact for queries across departments
  • See also the HMRC series of short videos aimed at helping those businesses brand new to customs:

What is Customs?

What you need to know to bring goods into the UK?

What you need to do to send goods out of the UK?

  • The customs grant scheme has been changed to allow more people to access the funding and help ensure they are ready to trade with the EU after the transition period ends.
  • Customs intermediaries – including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators – as well as traders who complete their own declarations, are among those who may benefit from the new co-funded training project under General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER). Through the co-funded training project grant, organisations can receive up to 2 million euros where they co-invest as well.
  • HMRC is also now allowing traders who are new to customs to apply for grants of up to £1,000 per organisation to support the cost of basic customs training. This will help traders understand what is involved in making customs declarations and can help them prepare for when they speak to an intermediary.
  • Another change HMRC has introduced to the customs grant scheme is that businesses with Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status who have had a base in the UK for less than 12 months can also now access the grant scheme. This will encourage new entrants to the intermediary market.
  • The current phase of the customs grant scheme opened for applications on 29 July with a record £50 million investment as part of the measures to accelerate growth of the customs intermediary sector and help meet the increased demand it will see from traders from 1 January 2021.
  • Grants will be issued on a first come, first served basis and applications will close on 30 June 2021, or earlier if all funding is allocated. Applications for the co-funded training project, trader training and for AEO businesses opened on 16 November 2020. For more information on the scheme and how to apply, see the guidance on GOV.UK.
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    Sector-specific guidance

    • electronics and machinery sector: (9-point checklist) here.
    • consumer goods sector: (13-point checklist)  here.
    • automotive sector: 10-point checklist)  here.
    • aerospace sector: (9-point checklist)  here.
    • science, research and innovation sector: (8-point checklist)  here.
    • Financial Servicescomprehensive guidance divided into information for customs, and information for financial services providers. View the guidance on the GOV.UK website.
    • life sciences sector: (12-point checklist)  here.
    • construction sector: (11-point checklist)  here.
    • arts, heritage and culture sector: (7-point checklist)  here. See also guidance on the art marketandExporting or importing objects of cultural interest from 1 January 2021.
    • telecoms and information services sector: (6-point checklist) here
    • tourism sector: (6-point checklist)  here
    • gambling sector: (5-point checklist)  here
    • civil society sector: (4-point checklist)  here.
    • creative industries sector: (6-point checklist)  here
    • digital, technology and computer services sectors here.
    • sports and recreation sector here.
    • media and broadcasting sectors here.
    • blood establishments, blood banks and manufacturers of blood products on ensuring the quality and safety of human blood and blood components 
    • Regulating medical devices, click here.  

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    People-specific guidance

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    Chemicals-specific guidance

    • Information for the chemicals sector on preparing for the end of the transition period.

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    Products-specific guidance

    • Guidance on specific product safety and metrology regulations for businesses placing goods on the market in Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.
    • Guidance for the veterinary pharmaceutical industry on how to convert a Centrally Authorised Product (CAP) to a national GB Marketing Authorisation .Centrally Authorised Products conversion explainer
    • The UKNI marking is a new conformity marking for products placed on the market in Northern Ireland which have undergone mandatory third-party conformity assessment by a body based in the UK. To find out if you need to use it, and if so, how, click here.

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    Food, drink and animals updated guidance   

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