On 18 February 2019 HM Revenue & Customs explained to NBCC members in London how they are preparing for the UK to exit the EU, focusing on Roll-On/Roll-Off ports. Further insights were offered by the experts at EY regarding what businesses need to know concerning the different Brexit scenarios. Royal Cosun and KLG Europe were also present to share their best practices.
As the clock ticks closer to March 29th, it is essential to prepare for change. This preparation is particularly relevant for exporters and importers, for whom it is indispensable to know what customs and tariff procedures they’ll be facing. Clarity on the near future is imperative in order for firms to prepare.
Our speakers were faced with multiple questions. What tariffs will companies need to pay when importing goods to the UK from the EU and the rest of the world? When will the UK government launch an official market access database to provide this information? Can simplified customs procedures be expected in the case of no deal? Will there be a Fastlane of any kind at the UK ports? Can VAT, import and export duties be deferred in the UK? The speakers provided invaluable and insightful contributions in addressing these topics.
Caspar Jansen, partner indirect tax at EY, introduced some core Brexit planning scenarios. According to the judgement of his colleague, Marc Bunch, partner global trade, the probability of a no deal was 25%, whereas the likelihood of a customs union/ unprecedented customs union was 40%. Elly Crockford, senior policy advisor at HM Revenue & Customs, emphasised that the Roll-On/Roll Off Ports were critical for trade and business continuity. Traders can register to use simplified transitional procedures at RoRo locations as of “Day 1,” procedures which will be available for at least 15 months. Additionally: “The full range of information on customs, VAT and excise after EU Exit, and more technical guidance for stakeholders, will be on GOV.UK and other communication channels.”
Royal Cosun, “exporter of perishables,” has established a Brexit Team that has analysed the impact of all UK exit scenarios and is already starting to take action, according to Maarten Boudesteijn, group tax manager. The main issues are tariffs, border disruption and impact on demand. A revealing casus from the transport industry was put forward by Kees Kuijken, CEO of KLG Europe, a family owned company.
On behalf of the NBCC Board, Andrew Wood, Dutch Honorary Consul, reassured the attendees that amidst the complexities of the UK exiting the EU, the NBCC remains committed to driving the growth of British-Dutch businesses by connecting people and firms, ensuring representation of our members’ views and delivering valuable business insights.
Special gratitude was expressed to EY UK for their hospitality and for providing their wonderful premises in London to make this event happen. Equally, the participants were thankful to all of the speakers for helping them to navigate the jungle of uncertainties through their clear presentations and answers.
This occasion proved to be an excellent setting for networking in the UK as well as a fantastic forum for the informal exchange of tips, best practices and ideas with a view of getting “Brexit-ready.”