Tax and Customs Board calls on companies to prepare for Brexit

The Estonian Tax and Customs Board wants companies to prepare for either potential kind of Brexit.
The Estonian Tax and Customs Board wants companies to prepare for either potential kind of Brexit. Source: Sander Ilvest/Postimees

The Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) is calling on companies with economic ties in the UK to prepare for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, whether with or without a deal.

"Activities must be launched both for a situation involving a no-deal withdrawal as well as for a situation in which the withdrawal of the UK from the EU takes place on the basis of an agreement, and smoothly," Külli Kurvits, deputy head of the MTA's Customs Department, said on Tuesday.

According to Ms Kurvits, approximately 5,000 Estonian companies have economic ties tot he UK, some 3,000 of which still have had no contact with customs.

The MTA introduced a separate section on its website that provides information regarding changes accompanying Brexit. "We will supplement it on a running basis, according to received information," the MTA official said.

With Brexit, all companies doing business with British enterprises will require a registration number, without which it will not be possible to carry out a customs formalisation in the EU or promote foreign trade ties.

"Applying for the EORI number necessary for a customs formalisation online is generally a simple and fast procedure, but one must take into account the approaching period for submitting the income tax returns of natural persons," Ms Kurvits said. "As the e-services environment is the same for everyone, we suggest those in need of an EORI number file the relevant application in the next few days already. Otherwise the application process may be prolonged.

Prior to this, companies should also familiarise themselves with an overview of customs measures from the Estonian Master Tariff System (EMTS), from which information is available regarding rates of duty and other additional requirements when trading with third countries.

"We also offer companies the opportunity to apply for counselling and training regarding Brexit at the MTA," Ms Kurvits added.

MTA: Consider logistical plans now

The tax and customs official also advised companies to consider their logistical plans for the end of March, as around 30 March, when, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK is to become a third country in relation to the EU, greater confusion is expected in terms of both the formalisation of documents and transport.

According to Ms Kurvits, Brexit is expected to bring some 30% additional work to the Estonian authority.

According to current plans, the UK's withdrawal from the EU is scheduled to enter into effect at midnight on 30 March, meaning that beginning 30 March, the UK will be a so-called third country in relation to the EU, and a customs formalisation would be necessary for any kind of movement of goods between the UK and the EU.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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