The UK’s departure from the EU has brought significant changes to the UK’s trade landscape and businesses that previously never needed to know about importing, exporting and tariffs now need to become specialists fast. The UK government announced phased border controls on goods coming from the EU into Great Britain on 1 July 2021 and although you have up to 6 months to complete the process, delaying your customs declaration will create a backlog, increasing administration costs, and liability for any tax duties due on goods. And with a spotlight on corporate governance, it’s essential than ever to know the customs process inside out. Here is what you need to know about importing automotive parts into the UK.
To import car parts into the UK, you will need a 12-digit Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number (EORI) starting with GB. To get an EORI number, your business needs to “be established” , that is, have premises based in the UK. Your premises will need to be a:
Keep in mind that you do not need an EORI number to move goods for personal use. You will need an EORI number when using HMRC’s customs systems like Customs Handling of Imports and Export Freight (CHIEF). The business exporting car parts to you will need to submit an export declaration in their country and have the license or certificates to export to the UK. Check that your seller is certified to export from their country.
Most dealers specialising in importing car parts use a freight forwarder as their customs agent. You can hire a freight company to handle customs, such as:
A specialist freight forwarder can act for you, either as a direct or indirect representative, but they cannot work on your behalf without written instructions from you. Keep in mind that, if the need arises, HMRC will ask for evidence of authorisation. To fill a declaration on your behalf your courier will need proof of origin, a detailed description of the consignment, the appropriate licence, and your EORI number.
Whether you submit a full declaration or a simplified declaration, you’ll need commodity codes to determine the rate of duty payable. You can find the commodity codes for importing automotive parts in the tariff tool, which will help you complete import declarations and other paperwork and pay the right duty and VAT. Before searching for commodity codes, its best to have some details at hand such as:
Chapter 87 of the HS tariff code covers automotive parts. Many of the common car parts fall under this chapter. For example:
After your specialist freight forwader gets your car parts through the border, you will need to pay duty to have them released into free circulation or warehouse storage. HMRC allows you to pay customs duty, excise duty and VAT in several ways. You can use the flexible accounting system to pay by card, cheque or bank transfer, or use Direct Trade Input(DTI). If you have a duty deferment account, you can delay payment until an agreed future date.