UK and EU EXIT – Preparing for a No Deal Exit

Notes as of January 2019

EU Exit Portal launched

Since August the UK Government has steadily published various technical guidance notes giving advice to businesses and individuals about being prepared for a no deal when the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019. This note contains information for HTA members about some of the guidance relevant to members.

Full guidance notes and other information can now be accessed via an EU Exit Portal. The portal, launched in January 2019 contains all the advice for individuals and businesses on preparing for EU Exit, with or without a deal.

Ther is also a brief update on the HTA News Pages

Advice to Businesses on No Deal Planning

UK Government Approach:

The technical guidance stresses that the UK Government still believes that a deal will be reached with the EU prior to 29th March 2019. However, it has published the guidance notes to allow people and businesses to start preparing should a deal not be agreed. The technical guidance also stresses the importance of the Northern Ireland border in the ongoing negotiations.

The Government has published an excellent "Partnership Pack"  which lays out in great detail the changes which will affect the UK border after a 'no deal' EU Exit. The pack gives comprehensive updates and advice to anyone who imports or exports both in and out of the EU and also in and out of third countries.

Trading with the EU:

  1. Importing from EU Countries

Those importing goods from EU countries would have to follow customs procedures in the same way as they have to now for importing from non-EU countries.

  • Businesses will have to register for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. Businesses that register with HMRC will be contacted when the service is available. HTA recommends members to register with HMRC for email alerts through the HMRC section on
  • Familiarise yourself with the Government new Customs Declaration Service (replacing CHIEF). Further information here
  • Ensure contracts and terms and conditions reflect that the fact that the business is now importing.
  • Consider how they will submit import declarations, including whether to use a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider. If businesses decide to submit declarations themselves they will need to get the appropriate software and secure the necessary authorisations from HMRC.
  • Decide the correct classification for goods.
  • Pay relevant VAT and import duties.
  • importing plants & plant products specifically:- To deliver a smooth transition when we leave the EU, in a ‘no deal’ scenario the Government has decided that the majority of plants and plant products are low-risk and should continue to enter the UK from the EU freely, as they do now.

    There would be some exceptions. See here for further information.

  • Plant passporting:- In the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal, the UK would be treated as a third country and would lose access to the EU plant passport regime. This would affect businesses that export to the EU, import from the EU, and move some plants and plant products within the UK. Phytosanitary certificates would be required instead of plant passports. This means plants will have to be inspected by the relveant countries' plant health inspectorate at point of despatch. Exports to and imports from current third countries would not be directly affected. See here for further information


  1. Exporting to EU Countries
  • Businesses will have to register for an EORI number (see above).
  • Export declarations will need to be submitted.
  • For certain goods an export licence may be required.

Businesses involved in importing/exporting from/to the EU may wish to consider the advice available on about current processes for dealing with non-EU countries.



The UK will continue to have a VAT system. Government will introduce postponed accounting for import VAT on goods brought into the UK. Companies exporting goods to the EU will be able to zero rate sales. The Government is introducing 'Making Tax Digital' which means all VAT returns will need to be sent in digitally after 1 April 2019, followed by Income Tax over the subsequent months.  See our webpage devoted to Making Tax Digital.

Classifying goods in the UK Trade Tariffs:

Trade with the EU will be on non-preferential World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms. This means Most Favoured Nation tariffs and non-preferential rules of origin will apply to consignments between the UK and EU. The UK Government states it will publish UK duty rates before we leave the EU. Tariffs can be viewed here

Workplace Rights:

The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 brings across the powers from EU Directives to UK legislations. This means UK workers will continue to be entitled to the same rights as at present.

Receiving funding from EU-funded programmes:

The UK Government has guaranteed that any projects where funding has been agreed before the end of 2020 will be funded for their full lifetime. This includes funding for Rural Development, Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ Projects.

Farm Payments:

Eligible beneficiaries will continue to receive payments under the terms of the UK Government’s funding guarantee. Domestic legislation is being prepared which will require beneficiaries to meet the same standards as at present. The Agriculture Bill, progressing through Parliament at the moment (Dec 2018) will legislate for England, with the Devolved Administrations also preparing legislation.

Trade Remedies:

Government intends to establish an independent Trade Remedies Authority to investigate complaints of unfair trading practices and unforeseen surges in imports causing injury to UK industry.


The HTA will keep you up to date as and when further Brexit scenarios are published.

Please contact Sally Cullimore, HTA Police Executive for further information. Email