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HMRC auto-enrols companies in customs system

HMRC is stepping up efforts to ensure businesses are ready to trade post-Brexit by automatically enrolling companies in a customs system, doubling the numbers registered. More than 88,000 VAT registered companies across the UK will be allocated an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number in the next two weeks in order to keep trading with customers and suppliers in the EU after the UK has left.

72,000 companies have already registered for EORI numbers. With Brexit preparations accelerated under the new government, ministers are taking action to speed up the rollout of the scheme to help ensure the smooth transit of goods.

EORI numbers are unique ID numbers allocated to businesses that enables them to be identified by Customs authorities when doing business with other traders. If businesses do not have an EORI number post-Brexit, they will be unable to continue to trade with EU Member States.

If a business is not VAT-registered, it will still need to register for an EORI number. After getting an EORI number, businesses will need to decide whether to complete customs declarations themselves, or employ a customs agent to do this. Traders also need to decide whether to apply for Transitional Simplified Procedures to make it easier to import goods from the EU.

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