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.

The New UK Global Tariff and Your Business

Brexit may have been pushed out of the headlines, but that doesn’t mean there’s been any let-up in preparations for our exit from the EU.

One of those measures is HMRC’s recently published new UK Global Tariff (UKGT) regime. This Tariff will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff (EU CET) at the end of the Transition Period on 1st January 2021.

The UKGT has been tailored to the needs of the UK economy, making it easier and cheaper for businesses here to import goods from overseas. You will not only benefit from a lower tax regime, but also from reduced red tape and barriers to trade.

The UK Global Tariff will apply for any goods being imported into the UK from any country, with the exception of those that have concluded Free Trade Agreements with the UK already, provided that the products meet the relevant rules of origin and qualify for preferential duty rates.

Certain products will be completely tariff-free under the new regime, whilst others will be subject to a reduced tariff.

So what does this mean for you? What do you need to do next?

We’re almost halfway through the year, and the 1st January 2021 will be here before we know it. There are a number of proactive steps you can take to ensure your business is ready to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the new Tariff:

• Review your current commodity codes
• Prepare for a system update where your ERP system holds classification information
• Check your commodity codes still exist in the new Tariff
• Check which codes are most applicable to your products
• Review the duty rate for the goods
• Consider contractual obligations in relation to price
• Do you need to consider a BTI if your products have gone from a positive rate of duty to a potential nil rate of duty?
• Consider if your CCG is accurately positioned to reflect these changes
• Review any HMRC Authorisations held whereby the classification forms part of the approval (such as Customs Warehouse).

If you’d like to discuss these changes, and how they may affect your business, we’d be happy to have a chat. You can get in touch with us at: info@bethancc.com.

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

George’s appointment bolsters Bethan team

George Laing

An Oldmeldrum-based business which provides customs and supply chain support has doubled its team since the start of the year with a number of key appointments, the most recent being former HMRC Higher Officer, George Laing.

Bethan Customs Consultancy has appointed George to the role of Customs Consultant, where he joins fellow consultant and former HMRC colleague, Elaine Lownds and the firm’s director, Nicola Alexander.

Since January of this year, the team has doubled from three members of staff to six.

George’s addition to the team creates new opportunities for Bethan to meet the increasing demand for its bespoke and independent service offerings, as well as to expand its capacity for dedicated in-house and remote customs consultancy to clients.

Before taking up his role with Bethan, George enjoyed a very distinguished 43-year career within the civil service. He has held a number of roles within the Inland Revenue and HMRC in both Glasgow and the North East. Most recently he worked as a Higher Officer in Customs International Trade, where he specialised in Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) approval processes.

Director and founder of Bethan Customs Consultancy, Nicola Alexander, said: “George’s appointment comes at a very exciting time for Bethan, and we are absolutely thrilled to welcome him on board. With his experience and knowledge of customs compliance, I have no doubt he will be yet another asset in our team of consultants, all of whom apply their expertise in customs, logistics and supply chain management to help our clients grow their businesses.”

George added: “I am looking forward to building on my previous experience in my new role with Bethan. I see this as a natural progression from my previous role within HMRC – guiding and supporting clients to navigate the complexities of importation and exportation from a customs perspective, particularly during these unprecedented times.”

Bethan Customs Consultancy provides independent, clear and practical advice, as well as training and on-going support to businesses throughout the UK in relation to customs compliance and supply chain requirements. They offer a bespoke service, tailored to their clients’ business requirements, which span a range of sectors, from oil and gas to food and drink.

Bethan Customs Consultancy Team
L-R Aby Wilson, Stuart Wood, Elaine Lownds, George Laing, and Director, Nicola Alexander