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ATA Carnets – (Multicoloured) Passport for Goods

The recent publication of a number of notices designed to help UK businesses prepare for a no deal exit from the EU has reinvigorated discussion on the practicalities for movements of goods. With 25 notices published and 50+ to come, one item among many still to be addressed concerns temporary importations. At present, a UK individual or entity can take goods and/or equipment into other member states without the need to declare. This post looks at ATA Carnets, the passport for goods.

Brexit – No Deal Preparation Guidance from HM Government

The government has begun publishing a series of notices designed to inform UK businesses and citizens of the implications of a no deal exit from the EU. 25 papers have been published to date, covering a wide range of topics, including import/export, medicines, export of controlled goods and labelling. A number will be added throughout the coming weeks, with approximately 80 expected in total, designed to cover all areas.

Customs Declaration Service – Roll Out Begins

As outlined in previous posts, Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is a huge project being led by HMRC which will be used by any business that sends or receives goods internationally. The replacement of CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import/Export Freight), which is the system HMRC has been using for import and export declarations since the 1990’s, CDS is the mechanism through which traders will inform HMRC of incoming and outgoing movements of physical materials.

i2i Infinity put the first ever EU Certificate of Origin on a Blockchain.

New CO Blockchain

In May 2018, i2i Infinity developed the first European certificate of origin Blockchain. The initial pilot project received an online application for an EC certificate of origin from Bristol based engineering business, Renishaw plc, and added the digitally received data to the new CO BLOCKCHAIN.

The UK exit from the EU and VAT implications

The basics

If you make taxable supplies (standard rated, reduced rated or zero rated), you have to account to HMRC for the VAT due. This is output tax. You’ll normally charge the VAT to your customers. If your customers are registered for VAT and the supplies are for use in their business, the VAT is their input tax. In the same way, VAT charged to you on your business purchases is your input tax. As a registered person, you can reclaim from HMRC as much of the VAT on your purchases and imports, as relates to the standard rated, reduced rated and zero-rated supplies you make. In principle, you can’t reclaim VAT which relates to any non-business activity or to any exempt supplies you make.

What is a Customs Union?

At its simplest, a Customs Union comprises a single external tariff, applied by all Union Members, used to charge duty on goods imported into the Union. A Customs Union removes customs duties on trade between Members on all goods that are either produced within the Union or on which import duties have been paid. Internal border controls subsequently disappear and Customs Officers are then found only at the Union’s external borders. They not only keep trade flowing, but help, for example, to protect the environment, cultural heritage, and protect jobs by combating counterfeiting and piracy.

Export declarations will not be ready by June - CDS (Customs Declaration Service) update

We posted a blog last year on the HMRC project to upgrade the ageing CHIEF system which handles import and export declarations, detailing how this project has taken on extra significance in the face of Brexit.


Since then we have attended several CDS workshops with the project stakeholders, several association meetings and started developing the required changes in our own software. We now understand the ability to process export declarations will now not be ready by the July go-live, but with the new Brexit transition agreement, how will this effect you?