Why are HMRC Authorisations Important for Business?

The 2nd September is undoubtedly a date for your diary – from tomorrow there are 120 days until – 31 December 2020 – the end of the transitional period for the UK leaving the EU. That figure is important, because it’s the same number of days that it takes for HMRC to process applications for a Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG), something which must be in place before accessing other duty suspension authorisations. This guarantee covers the potential duty liability that a business may have to suspend at the time of importation.

Why is it worth securing these approvals? Put simply, having access to an HMRC Authorisation can secure a more advantageous market position for your business. Given the imminent legislative changes for businesses which import and / or export, having these in place could help your business to avoid potential delays and additional charges as a result of legislative changes.

Holding one of these approvals demonstrates the high standards to which your business adheres in the global market. This is crucial for securing the confidence of your business partners, something that is even more important during these turbulent times.

What’s more, some HMRC Authorisations allow for the suspension of import duties, thus assisting businesses to better manage their cash flow. While certain special procedures can be applied for as a one-off, or for regular use, depending on individual business needs.

These duty suspension Authorisations include:

Authorised Consignee – An Authorised Consignee approval allows for businesses to undertake the customs process away from the border, at an Approved Premises.  This is an efficient way of moving non-Union goods across several customs territories into the UK, while avoiding border delays.

Customs Warehouse – A Customs Warehouse approval allows for businesses to import goods into a customs warehouse with the potential duties suspended.  The goods can be stored for an indefinite period of time within the Customs Warehouse.  Duties only become payable when the goods are released into free circulation.

Inward Processing – An Inward Processing approval allows for businesses to temporarily import goods for the purpose of processing, inclusive of repair, without the payment of duties/ VAT at the point of import.

Outward Processing – An Outward Processing approval allows for the temporary export of goods for processing or repair. Upon re-importation to the UK, you are then able to claim full or partial duty relief.

Authorised Use – Formally recognised as End Use, an Authorised Use approval allows businesses to import certain goods at a reduced or zero rate of duty, provided they are put to a prescribed end use within the approved time frame.

Underpinning all of the above, a business which holds AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) status is internationally recognised for their business compliance standards, in a fashion similar to a ‘kite mark’.

Should you wish to discuss any of the above HMRC Authorisations to ascertain their suitability for your business, please get in touch – we are more than happy to help.

Authorised Consignor / Consignee status – the smart way to expedite cross-border transportation

With so many uncertainties still surrounding post-Brexit trading regulations, it’s good to know there are measures available to UK businesses that will streamline the cross-border transport of goods beyond 31st December this year.

One thing we do know is that regardless of the eventual outcome of the EU exit negotiations, the UK will remain a member of the Common Transit Convention (CTC) – a customs procedure that’s available to businesses, enabling them to move goods across borders or territories without paying customs import duties until they arrive at their final destination.

Not only does this deliver cash-flow benefits, it also helps transport goods across the border without delay at the point of importation into the UK, and when exporting from the UK.

Businesses which transport cargo across several borders can expedite this process even further by applying for certain customs simplifications, including authorised consignee and/or consignor status. If you’re regularly moving goods using Transit, you can apply for authorised consignor or consignee status. This will allow you to start (authorised consignor) or end (authorised consignee) transit at your own premises rather than at a customs office, saving a great deal of time and inevitably costs.

If approved, this status effectively puts the business in the place of the customs authorities as either the Office of Destination or Departure. You can apply for both authorised consignor and consignee status. You should bear in mind that in order to be eligible to apply for either or both of these authorisations, you will need to demonstrate a good standard of business practice.

With either or both of these authorisations in place, you’ll be in a position to take advantage of quicker and more efficient import and export transactions, regardless of how the cross-border trading landscape looks after 31st December this year.

If you feel your business could benefit from these authorisations, let’s have a chat. Whether it’s taking a look at your systems to ensure they achieve the required standards, or supporting you through the application process, our team of specialist customs consultants is on hand to help.

Photos by: Grant Anderson – www.grantanderson.me / @grantandersondotme