This pack provides a high-level guide to customs processes and procedures that are likely to apply in a ‘no deal’ scenario.
More detailed guidance will be provided later in the autumn, including specific actions that traders and other stakeholders will need to take to prepare.
A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.
Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.
For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day one in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.
It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a ‘no deal’ scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.
At the heart of government’s approach to preparing for a ‘no deal’ scenario is a commitment to prioritise stability for citizens, consumers and business. This is equally true in our approach to customs as elsewhere. We will continue to apply highly automated, risk-based and intelligence-targeted customs controls when the UK leaves the EU.
HMRC will work closely with industry to ensure its interventions are conducted in a way which minimises delays and additional burdens for legitimate trade, while robustly ensuring compliance. The approach of continuity does not mean that everything will stay the same, but the priority is maximising stability at the point of departure through the government’s action.
The role that you can play in helping the government reach out to businesses is crucial. You understand the customers, members and clients that you represent and you can provide insight, knowledge and channels to improve how many businesses receive these messages and how well they respond to them.
We look forward to working with you and getting your feedback on what you think customers need.