An Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number is currently required when trading with countries outside the EU. Registration for an EORI is via the UK government and is free.
An EORI will be required from 11pm on Thursday, October 31, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The ID number, based on a company’s VAT number, is needed to make customs declarations and comply with other regulations. Applying for an EORI can take up to three days.
BADA and LAPADA have written to their members, urging them to be proactive and register if they trade with countries in the EU, and have included a link to the EORI web page.
"There's a huge amount of uncertainty regarding Brexit, what the terms of any trade agreement might be and what no-deal means," BADA chief executive Marco Forgione told ATG. "What we do know, however, is that under no-deal, anyone trading with the EU needs to have an EORI number.
"The government has said it will automatically assign an EORI number to companies that it knows are trading with the EU.
"However, we are strongly advising those BADA members that trade with the EU, if they don't already have an EORI number, to get one themselves. It means that after Brexit, they will continue to have the same seamless access to EU markets as they currently do now."
Freya Simms, LAPADA chief executive, said that it was "not easy to suggest a ‘likely’ scenario for members" as the association has a broad range of members, in size and nationality.
"However, what is clear is that our members will need to be prepared and supported through the new processes and channels for imports and exports, both for movement of goods and tariffs."
As well as sending regular government advice updates to its members, LAPADA has included a 'no-deal Brexit advice' section in the Knowledge Bank section of its website, accessible only to members.
Brexit 'come what may'
Prime minister Boris Johnson has vowed to take the United Kingdom out of the EU on October 31 “come what may,” regardless of whether a trade deal has been struck with the European bloc of 27 countries.
Without a deal, the UK becomes in EU parlance a ‘third country’, a status requiring EORI registration.
A short video on how to apply for an EORI has been posted by Business West, a not-for-profit organisation aimed at encouraging business enterprises in the South West of England. The video can be viewed here.
Shipping delays warning
Shipping firm Gander & White has warned clients that due a "lack of clarity" on Brexit, its European Groupage vehicles "could be subject to last minute changes, delays and/or cancellations from October 2019".
The shipper, which holds a royal warrant, has also told clients that from October, it will no longer be able to handle CITES import and export shipments, "as Dover and Folkstone will not be equipped to handle these shipments". For a list of which ports will be able to handle CITES shipments read ATG's previous article here.