Importing goods after Brexit

…the Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for customs


Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for customsAs Brexit gets closer companies who import goods are still unclear what it will mean to them. However, the good news is that HMRC has now announced simplified customs procedures for a no deal Brexit.

VAT-registered businesses trading with the EU should have received a letter from the tax authorities about the transitional simplified procedures (TSP) for customs. These procedures will initially be in place for one year but the Treasury will review the policy three to six months after it is introduced to see how it is working. HMRC guidance and how to register is available here.

What it means for you

Businesses will need to register for TSP and once they have registered they will be able to transport goods to the UK without having to make a full customs declaration at the border and will also be able to postpone paying any import duties by setting up a direct debit.

Registration for registering for TSP is now open but Companies will need an economic operator registration and identification (EORI) number to register. This can be done online and takes as little as ten minutes. Obtaining this number is crucial to be able to trade after Brexit in the event of a no deal. In order to register for an EORI, click here.

If you already trade outside the EU and have a customs agent or software, you’ll be able to use these to make declarations on your EU-UK trade. You do not need to register for transitional simplified procedures, but should speak to your software provider or agent about the additional customs formalities you’ll have to comply with after EU exit.

If you’re moving controlled goods, and do not have an agent already, you may want to consider using an agent or intermediary to make your declarations. Intermediaries may be able to offer other customs simplifications or procedures if they’re already authorised by HMRC.

Who cannot register

You cannot register to use the transitional simplified procedures if:

  • The only goods you import are coming into the UK from outside the EU;
  • You choose to use a customs special procedure for your goods;
  • You are acting on behalf of a trade (for example you are a freight forwarder);
  • HMRC records show that in the past you have had overdue tax returns, have not paid tax or duties or your business is insolvent.


We understand that there are challenges ahead and the uncertainty around the no deal Brexit is frustrating. However, the best way is to be prepared for the worst case scenario. Registration for the TSP is now open and can take as little as ten minutes to register. To ensure that you are ready we suggest that you take the time now to avoid costly delays in the coming months.