More than two-thirds of UK export companies have not yet taken the basic steps to prepare for a no-deal Brexit scenario, according to the latest figures.
The data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) shows that just 70,000 out of a total of 240,000 have registered for the necessary documentation to continue to trade with the European Union (EU).
According to the official figures, the companies that have already registered account for 75 per cent of trade between the UK and the EU, but this leaves one-quarter of trade that is still unprepared.
In order to trade with the EU after following a no-deal scenario, companies in the UK are required to register for an economic operator registration and identification (EORI) number.
This number is based on the company’s VAT number and allows businesses to make customs declarations and comply with regulations.
If a no-deal Brexit happens, then UK trade with the EU will be subject to the same protocols as the rest of the world, with experts estimating that customs declarations could increase from 50 million per year to more than 200 million each year.
Martin McTague, Head of Policy and Advocacy at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The UK Government has been very clear: in order to make import and export declarations with UK customs authorities post-Brexit you need an EORI number.
“The solution is obvious – EORI numbers should be automatically issued to VAT-registered firms that trade exclusively in Europe, as they have been in other European countries.”
International trading is a complex process and key to the success of many businesses. At Macalvins, we understand that having an accountant with international trade expertise is vitally important. To find out more about our services please contact us.