HMRC is stepping up efforts to ensure businesses are ready to trade post-Brexit by automatically enrolling companies in an important customs system and doubling the numbers registered, the Chancellor has announced.
More than 88,000 VAT registered companies across the UK will be allocated an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number in the next two weeks in order to keep trading with customers and suppliers in the EU after the UK has left.
Some 72,000 companies have already registered for EORI numbers. With Brexit preparations accelerated under the new government, ministers are taking decisive action to speed up the rollout of the scheme to help ensure the smooth transit of goods.
EORI numbers are a unique ID number allocated to businesses that enables them to be identified by Customs authorities when doing business with other traders.
If businesses do not have an EORI number post-Brexit, they will be unable to continue to trade with EU Member States.
Letters informing businesses of automatically allocated EORI numbers will start arriving today as the Government steps up efforts to ensure the UK is ready for Brexit.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said: “As the government accelerates its preparation to leave the EU on 31 October, it’s right businesses are prepared, too.
“There can be no time for delay, which is why HMRC has allocated thousands of businesses with a trading number to ensure they can continue to trade their goods through Europe from day one. This will help ease the flow of goods at border points and support businesses to trade and grow.”
The Chancellor allocated an extra £2.1 billion for government departments in July to prepare for no deal, doubling Brexit funding for this year.
As part of the cash injection, border and customs operations will receive an additional £344m to be ready for Brexit, including by hiring more border officers, doubling the support available for customs agents, and improving transport infrastructure around ports.