Reports from ICAEW members suggest that firms of all sizes are becoming more involved in customs-related work since the departure of the UK from the EU. This ranges from providing general advice about UK trade rules (including freeports) to specific VAT, tariff, and duty questions. Some firms also make customs declarations on behalf of clients.
For any business that trades overseas or imports goods into the UK, the impact of customs duties and associated processes is of vital importance. Like all other taxes, the rules are highly complicated and often not well understood.
HMRC continues to consult on changes to the way duties are collected in the UK. Most recently, it consulted on the design of and legislation for a single trade window. This would create a single gateway for all transactional data to flow between traders and the UK government.
On 1 April 2022, plastic packaging tax was introduced in the UK. This is chargeable when certain plastic packaging components are manufactured in the UK or are imported into the country. There is therefore an interaction with customs duty. It is also important for UK businesses and ICAEW members advising them to keep up with developments of taxes on plastic in other countries, such as Italy and Spain.
ICAEW’s Tax Faculty has therefore decided to form a subcommittee of its VAT and duties committee, which will focus on duties. Through this, ICAEW’s members will get support in this complex and rapidly evolving area. As well as customs duty, the subcommittee’s remit will cover excise duties and other indirect taxes, such as plastic packaging tax.
The subcommittee’s activities will principally include:
- liaising with HMRC and other government bodies on matters relating to duties;
- contributing to the faculty’s responses to consultation documents or draft legislation;
- informing members on evolving EU legislation and processes impacting UK business trading with the EU; and
- sharing knowledge and experience with the wider ICAEW membership.
Taking account of the importance of customs and duties to our members, ICAEW has requested and been granted a seat on HMRC’s Joint Customs Consultative Committee (JCCC). It will also be represented by subcommittee volunteers on the JCCC working groups.
The subcommittee currently comprises several experts representing ICAEW member firms in the UK and continues to grow. If you would like to contribute to the subcommittee in any way, please do not hesitate to contact the subcommittee’s secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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