When the UK left the European Union, special arrangements were put in place for trading with Northern Ireland. Here we examine the current operation of the protocol. It is important to remember that Great Britain (GB) includes England, Scotland and Wales, and does not include Northern Ireland. The UK includes GB and Northern Ireland. The purpose of these arrangements was to prevent a hard border being imposed between Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (RoI). The EU wishes to prevent goods sent from GB to NI from moving to the EU unless they comply with EU regulations.
As the UK is now outside of the EU, how VAT is applied and collected is now potentially more complex. So how should small businesses who trade with any EU approach VAT to ensure full compliance? Unfortunately, we know many of the businesses already stop trading with Europe. Many small companies simply don't have the resources to navigate the complexities of the post-Brexit trade successfully and instead choose to focus on scaling their UK operations. "If you do wish to continue trading with Europe, be sure to evaluate how your business will be affected by the new guidelines. Remove yourself from any obsolete VAT requirements and either register for the new IOSS scheme or work with your partner digital marketplace to ensure you have all the information necessary to process sales correctly".
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will become the UK’s single customs platform with effect from 31 March 2023.
The EU is implementing new rules to create an import scheme for distance sales made to EU consumers from third countries (that is countries from outside the EU, which will include the UK from 1 January 2021). This scheme has been delayed to 1 July 2021 due to the pandemic, but when implemented is designed to prevent the need for non-EU businesses registering all over the EU. The scheme will be called the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) and will work similarly to the current Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) for digital services.