EU-Japanese Free Trade Agreement preferential rate of duty

28 June 2019

We receive goods from a supplier in Japan and, even though the EU-Japanese Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into force in February 2019, on reviewing our customs duty payments we have not been claiming the preferential rate of duty. We have spoken with our supplier who has confirmed that the goods do qualify under the terms of the FTA and they will start quoting the statement of preference on the invoices going forward but I wondered if we could apply for a refund of duty from HMRC on the shipments received since February 2019.

Forthcoming changes to the Incoterms ® Rules

21 June 2019

We understand that the International Commercial Terms (Incoterms ® Rules) are being updated and a new set is being published later this year, Incoterms 2020 we believe. Do you have any information on what the changes will be? Should we be concerned about new terms being introduced and start reviewing our contracts with the intention of updating our Incoterm ® Rules clause? I have read that there will be a new term included in the set and some specific terms for UK-EU trade.

Evidence of exports made outside of the EU

14 June 2019

We have been advised of a HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) audit in the UK and have been told that we need to ensure that we have official evidence of exports made outside of the EU. I believe this is related to the zero-rating of VAT on export shipments. We have checked the VAT Notice 703 and believe that we can comply with the evidence requirements for both direct and indirect shipments - commercial transport invoices and appropriate supplementary evidence. However, we have been advised (from the compliance section of our company based in Germany) that we need to show evidence that goods have been delivered to the customer and not merely shipped. Can you possibly shed some light on this?

Supplying machine tools to manufacture goods for export

10 May 2019

My new client manufactures engineering parts and sometimes has to engineer a machine tool first to enable production to go ahead. They make a charge to the customer for this stage, in addition to the charges they make for the goods they then manufacture and supply. They have entered into a contract with an American company to supply some parts that will be shipped out to the US for the motor industry. We are happy that the client can zero rate the supply of the parts that are exported, but the customer has requested that the machine tool is also zero-rated. I know the customer is a US company, but the tool is remaining in my client’s premises in the UK; what reason could there be to zero-rate it?

Transitional Simplified Procedure and controlled goods

17 April 2019

We import goods from the EU, normally on driver accompanied or unaccompanied trailers. We want to register for the Transitional Simplified Procedure (TSP) but we understand that there are limitations on certain types of goods. I have seen mention of “controlled goods” — do you have any more specific information on what controlled goods are? We import goods that could come under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) controls, eg clothing accessories with feather, leather, etc. Also, will TSP operate at all ports in the UK?

Wooden pallet shortage after EU exit

10 April 2019

We read in the press that there will be a shortage of wooden pallets when the UK leaves the EU. We ship all our goods into the EU on wooden pallets and can’t understand why there might be a shortage. Can you explain please?

The new Transitional Simplified Procedure and airfreight

5 April 2019

Please could you explain the new Transitional Simplified Procedure (TSP) announced by HMRC on 4 February 2019. We are an importer of goods from most of the EU Member States which we further process and re-export into the EU or sell to 3rd countries such as Canada, the USA, Switzerland, etc. The goods all arrive by airfreight as they are low volume and lightweight. Should we register for TSP? It seems to only refer to roll-on/roll-off (RORO) shipments and ferry ports.

Open General Export Licences for “Dual Use” items going to the EU after “no-deal”

28 March 2019

I’ve seen that the UK Government has issued an Open General Export Licence (OGEL) just in case there is no deal for “Dual Use” items going to the EU. I have registered through the Shared Primary Information Resource Environment (SPIRE) on the Export Control Organisation (ECO) website but I wondered what the UK will do to replace the Union General Export Authorisations (UGEAs), the main one which permits the export of dual-use controlled items to the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Norway, Switzerland (including Liechtenstein) and New Zealand. As a business, we need this UGEA to trade with these markets. Am I correct in assuming a “no deal” will mean this can’t be used for those shipments?

Translation of import documents into a European language

25 March 2019

We have been advised by our forwarders customs experts that a German translation is required for import documents for goods to be imported into Germany.

We have never been asked to provide a translation of our product description going into non-EU countries nor have we been asked to provide a more detailed description of the goods; are you aware of this requirement and is it likely this will be necessary for France as well as we will be using a French and German hub? We have been advised that the German translation must be a comprehensible description in German showing the following information: Description of goods, usage and material texture.

Brexit transitional arrangements for the evidence required for zero rating of VAT for exports

25 March 2019

Are you aware if HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has introduced any simplifications or transitional arrangements for the evidence required for zero rating of VAT for exports if we exit the EU? Assuming we exit the EU the amount of work involved chasing for evidence, even when we have enough secondary evidence, will be significant if there is no flexibility around what is required.