If the UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019, without a deal, there will be immediate changes to the procedures that apply to businesses trading with the EU. Listed below are some on the main VAT issues that will affect UK businesses trading with the EU in goods and services:
- Businesses that are importing goods from the EU, would be required to follow customs procedures in the same way that they currently do when importing goods from a country outside the EU. This means that an import declaration would be required, customs checks and any customs duties must be paid.
- There would also be multiple VAT issues, including the requirement to account for import VAT on goods coming from the EU. The government has already confirmed that postponed accounting for import VAT on goods brought into the UK, will be introduced if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement.
Any agreement in place businesses exporting goods to the EU, will be required to follow customs procedures in the same way that they currently do when exporting goods to a non-EU country.
- VAT registered UK businesses will continue to zero-rate sales of goods to EU businesses and will no longer be required to complete EC sales lists. However, EU member states will treat goods entering the EU from the UK in the same way as goods entering from other non-EU countries with associated import VAT and customs duties due, when the goods arrive into the EU.
- A no-deal Brexit would also mean the end of special VAT distance selling rules for the zero-rated sale of goods to EU consumers.