News and Views

New Customs & Tax Rules – What You Need to Know

Now that we are almost five months post Brexit, some of the conflicting and confusing guidance around new customs and tax rules has settled down, and HMRC are offering webinars to help smaller businesses understand the changes and how they are impacted.

There is also an SME Brexit Support fund to help such businesses pay for the expert advice and support that they need to thrive in this post Brexit world. Scroll down for further details.

Will I be affected by the new rules?

Your business will be affected by the new rules if you:

  • Buy goods from an EU seller (and bring them into the UK)
  • Send goods to a buyer in an EU country
  • Haven’t exchanged money but need to move equipment between the UK and the EU

What are the New Customs and Tax Rules?

There is a vast amount of complex information on the new customs and tax rules – the following resources will hopefully help you make sense of the new procedures, and how to act.

HMRC Webinars

HMRC are hosting frequent webinars to help you get to grips with the new customs and tax rules. We’d definitely recommend registering to help familiarise yourself with the new procedures.

  • If you’ve imported goods since 1 January 2021 and not yet completed a customs declaration for them, please register here
  • If you’re planning to import and wish to understand the full declarations process, please register here
  • If you’re planning to export, please register here
  • If you use, or are planning to use an intermediary to complete import or export declarations for your business please register here

Useful resources

Importing and Exporting – An Overview

New rules for importing and exporting goods – GOV.UK

Import and Export Declarations – Appointing a customs intermediary

It’s worth noting that Import and export declarations are complicated, requiring specialist skill, knowledge and IT. For this reason, very few businesses make their own declarations, instead they use someone else to deal with import and export declarations for them, such as freight forwarding companies.

For more information, please see the resources below:

Getting someone to deal with customs for you – how freight forwarders can help – YouTube

Things to consider when you appoint a customs intermediary – GOV.UK

How to import/export goods into the UK from EU Countries

How to import goods into Great Britain from EU countries – GOV.UK

How to export goods from Great Britain into EU countries – GOV.UK

A Trader Checklist for the EU transition

The following checklist will help to ensure that you are abiding by the new rules. Use it as a trusty guide!

UK Transition trader checklist

The EU transition period – HMRC Customer Forums

If you have any queries about the EU transition period, the HMRC Community Forum – GOV.UK is a great resource. Here, you can find frequently asked questions or post your own.

Future changes – Stay IN-formed

Sign up to HMRC’s weekly email updates to stay up to date on the latest news, changes, and import-export information: HMRC Help and Support

The SME Brexit Support Fund

To help small businesses adapt to the new tax rules and customs, the SME Brexit Support Fund has been put into place.

Small-Medium sized businesses can receive up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice.

Who can apply? Am I eligible?

To be eligible for the SME Brexit Support Fund, your business must:

  • Be established in the UK
  • Have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting your application (or if you currently hold Authorised Economic Operator Status)
  • Have met its tax or customs obligations
  • Have less than 500 employees
  • Have an annual turnover below £100 million
  • Not export goods from or to a non-EU country

Your business must also either:

  • Complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for its own goods
  • Use someone else to complete import or export declarations but requires additional capability internally to effectively import or export

What can I use the grant for?

You can use the grant for training on:

  • How to complete customs declarations
  • How to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems
  • Specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin


You can receive professional advice to help your business meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.

How can I apply?

You can apply via the following link: SME Brexit support fund — Customs Grant Scheme

PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) is administering the grants for HMRC.

Still unsure of something?

Please contact us here if you have any queries or need some friendly advice – we’d be happy to help.

Alternatively, come and visit us in Hazel Grove for no obligation coffee!

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