An Organisation for all
Accountants in Practice

Preparing for a ‘no deal’ EU Exit: guide to importing

hmrc logo


The UK government is confident of securing an ambitious and comprehensive future partnership with the EU. But as a responsible government we have a duty to prepare for all possible outcomes, including the unlikely scenario that no agreement is reached.

If we leave the EU without an agreement on 29 March 2019, UK businesses will have to apply customs, excise and VAT procedures to goods traded with the EU, in the same way that already applies for goods traded outside of the EU. Trading partners in the EU will also have to apply customs, excise and VAT procedures to goods received from the UK, in the same way that they do for goods received from outside of the EU.We have designed this step-by-step guide to help businesses understand the key actions UK business will need to carry out in order to continue trading with EU businesses in the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU without an agreement. It is based on the existing guidance that already applies to all of the trade that UK businesses carry out with businesses outside of the EU. The guide will be updated as any outstanding details are confirmed – including VAT and excise arrangements – and should be used in partnership with our ‘Starting to import from outside of the EU’ guidance on GOV.UK.You do not need to take any of these steps at this time. We will let you know when the time is right for you to take a course of action.

The guide is for advice and guidance only and forms part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. The government fully expects to negotiate an agreement with the EU.