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Trade and Investment

By Yasmine Lingemann


With the end of the Brexit transition period fast approaching, here are 5 steps BritCham EU & Brussels suggest you and your business should take for importing into the EU, and 5 steps for importing into the UK.
Available in English, French, German and Dutch.

If you have any further questions, please head over to https://www.gov.uk/eubusiness for more information.

IMPORTING INTO THE EU:
Step 1: Register with Customs!
No relationship with Customs yet? Request an EORI number with them as soon as possible. Every company in Europe involved in exporting from the UK will require a GB EORI number- you cannot export without one. Also, if you are an importer or exporter who uses a forwarder or customs agent for your import and export declarations, please contact national customs as the application process may vary from country to country.

Step 2: Decide who takes care of the import and export declarations!
After the Brexit transition period ends, determine whether you will submit import and/or export declarations to Customs yourself or whether you will use a forwarder or customs agent for this. If you submit the declarations yourself, you will need separate software and licences. For this software you will find an overview of possible suppliers on the Dutch customs website.

Step 3: Determine who is responsible for the pre-notification of customs documents!
After Brexit, the pre-notification of customs documents is mandatory at all ferry terminals and most shortsea terminals. The importer/exporter can do this, but also the forwarder, customs agent or, on occasion, the transport company. Make clear agreements about this! Without pre-notification, the transporter will not be granted access to the terminal.

Step 4: Fill in the necessary documentation!
Importers should submit or enter the required data in the import clearance system via an EDI interface to the Customs computer Paperless Customs and Excises (PLDA) system. The import declaration, including security data, has been compulsorily submitted online via the PLDA-program (ICS = Import Control System). The importer can likewise declare the goods by presenting a finished Single Administrative Document (SAD form) to Belgian Customs. The official model for written declarations to customs is the Single Administrative Document (SAD). The SAD delineates products and their movement around the world and is fundamental for trade outside the EU, or of non-EU merchandise. Merchandise brought into the EU customs area is, from the time of their entrance, subject to customs supervision until customs formalities are finished. Items are secured by a Summary Declaration which is documented once the things have been shown to customs authorities.

Step 5: Check beforehand whether the terminal has the customs document!
Only cargo that has been digitally pre-notified can enter and leave the terminal. Otherwise, the container or trailer will come to a standstill here. You will then be referred to a temporary parking location. You can contact your client or transport planner there to get the necessary customs formalities in order.Therefore, before you start driving, always check the status at the termina. No customs document, no pre-notification at the terminal, no transport!

IMPORTING INTO THE UK
Step 1: Get an EORI Number
As a business owner, you need to make sure that your business has an Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number (EORI). In order to continue importing goods into the UK, you will need to have a 12-digit EORI starting with GB. You may not need an EORI number if your business is service-based or if you want to move goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland. If your business does not have an EORI number, then you might face delays and increased costs while importing goods. Check what documents you may need to apply for an EORI number here.

Step 2: Make Importing Declarations!
To make import declarations, you can either hire an agent or do it yourself.


HIRING A CUSTOMS AGENT: Freight forwarders, brokers, and fast parcel operators are some of the types of agents who can handle customs for you. Freight forwarders can assist you with moving the goods around the world. They can even make arrangements to help you get customs clearance. Brokers or custom agents ensure clearance through customs. Fast parcel operators can help you move documents, parcels, and freight across the world within a specific time frame. They can even handle customs clearance for you, provided you give them written instructions. The instructions must clarify whether these agents are acting for you directly or indirectly. If your business is new and you are still in search of a customs agent, you can find one from HMRC’s list of customs agents.


DECLARING IMPORTS YOURSELF:
If you are making customs import declarations by yourself, there are three important things for you to know when you import from outside the UK: how to submit, when to submit, and which boxes to complete.  
a. How to submit –If you are submitting your declarations on your own, they have to be sent electronically through the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. To do this, you must first apply to gain access to CHIEF and then buy third-party software to submit declarations electronically via CHIEF. While moving merchandise in baggage or small vehicles, you will need to submit a full declaration in advance if the goods meet any of the following conditions:– the value of goods is over 900 Euro– the goods weigh more than 1,000 kg– you are moving excise or restricted goods– the goods need a licence– you are planning to claim relief.   
b. When to submit – Under normal circumstances, a business owner must submit a complete declaration when goods are entering the UK. If you are moving your goods to temporary storage under customs supervision, they can remain in storage for 90 days. If the 90-day time limit is exceeded, you will need to pay the duty, VAT and penalty.The declaration process may vary if you are using the simplified declaration procedure or operating under an EIDR(entry in declarant’s record) authorisation. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the goods you import from the EU might get delayed. This is because it may take longer than usual for you to submit a full declaration and pay your import duties and VAT. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, you can still utilise the roll on roll off ports or the Channel Tunnel to import goods from the EU. You may need to produce customs declarations and pay any excise duty or VAT. 
c. Boxes to complete – Each time you are moving goods, you must include the commodity code in your customs declarations. You may also have to include the CustomsProcedure Code (CPC), which identifies the customs procedure applied while moving the goods.

Step 3: Make Importing Easier
There are other customs procedures designed to streamline the process, like the CommonTransit Convention (CTC), which simplifies the way in which goods get transported between or through the EU and the common transit countries. If your business imports goods frequently, you can set up a duty deferment account. This allows you to make one payment per time interval (for instance, a month), instead of making payments every time you import something. You can also get customs authorisations too, but you will need a deferment account for this.

Step 4: Check the Tax & Duty Rates to be Paid!
For every import, you will have to pay custom duties and VAT. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the custom duty tariffs for imports from the EU and the rest of the world will change.Reports say that the temporary rates will be applicable for up to 12 months until the government completes its public consultation and introduces a permanent tariff regime.Based on where the goods come from, the tariff rates can be classified as either preferential (also called MostFavoured Nation or MFN) and non-preferential.A preferential tariff rate will be applicable on goods if the country they are imported from has trade agreement with the UK and is a part of the UK’s generalised scheme of preferences.Non-preferential tariffs will be applicable for those countries which do not hold an official trade agreement with the UK and will eventually have to comply with the trade regulations set up by World TradeOrganisation (WTO). You can find out what the non-preferential tariff rates will be in case of a no-deal Brexit here. If you have registered your business for VAT, then you will have to pay your import VAT while filing your VAT return. If your business involves the import of alcohol, tobacco, or biofuels, you will have to pay excise duties also. You can find the rates for excise duties here.

Step 5: Get the Right Type of License for the Type of Goods you Import!
Based on what kinds of goods you are moving into the UK, you may be required to have a special license or certificate. For some goods, you may even have to pay an inspection fee. You can check whether you need licenses for the goods you are importing here.



BRITCHAM SUPPORT
Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period. Click here to register: https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events


IMPORTER DANS L’UE
Étape 1: S’incrire aux Douanes!
Pas encore de relation avec les douanes? Demandez un numéro EORI avec eux dès que possible. Chaque entreprise en Europe impliquée dans l’exportation du Royaume-Uni aura besoin d’un numéro GB EORI – vous ne pouvez pas exporter sans un. De plus, si vous êtes un importateur ou un exportateur qui utilise un transitaire ou un agent des douanes pour vos déclarations d’importation et d’exportation, veuillez contacter les douanes nationales car le processus de demande peut varier d’un pays à l’autre.

Étape 2: Décider qui s’occupera des déclarations d’importation et d’exportations!
Après la fin de la période de transition du Brexit, vous deviez décider si vous allez soumettre vous-même vos déclarations d’importations et/ou d’exportations, ou si vous utiliserez les services d’un transitaire ou un agent des douanes. Si vous le faites vous-même, vous aurez besoin d’un logiciel et des licences séparés.Pour ce logiciel, vous trouverez une liste de fournisseurs en ligne sur le site internet des services de douanes hollandais.



Étape 3: Décider qui s’occupera de la pré-notification des documents douaniers!
Après Brexit, la notification pré-able des documents douaniers sera obligatoire à tous les terminaux de ferry et dans la plupart des terminaux de courte distance.  L’importateur/exportateur peut faire cette démarche, mais aussi le transitaire, l’agent des douanes ou, à l’occasion, la société de transport. Faites des accords clairs ! Sans une notification pré-able, le transitaire n’aura pas accès aux terminaux. 



Étape 4: Remplir les informations nécessaires!
L’importateur devrait présenter les données nécessaires au système par EDI (Échange de Données Informatisé) auxDouanes et Accises (PLDA). La déclaration d’importation y compris les données informatisées, est obligatoire de le présenter en ligne par le PLDA. L’importateur pourrait aussi déclarer leur produit en présentant un document administratif unique (DAU)aux douanes belges. Le DAU délimite les produits et leurs mouvements autour du monde, il est fondamental pour les échanges hors de l’UE, ou pour les produits non-européens. Les produits qui sont importés dans l’UE, dès leur entrée, sont soumis aux supervisions des douanes jusqu’à que les formalités en douane soient finies. Les articles sont sécurisés par un sommaire de déclaration qui est documenté dès qu’ils sont montrées aux autorités des douanes. 

Étape 5: Vérifier préalablement si le terminal a les formulaires de douanes!
Seule la cargaison qui est déjà notifiée préalablement pourrait rentrer et sortir du terminal. Autrement, le conteneur ou la remorque seront en arrêt. Vous serez alors dirigé vers une zone de parking temporaire. Vous pourrez contacter votre client ou transitaire surplace pour avoir les formulaires de douanes nécessaires.  Avant de commencer à conduire, vérifier toujours vos documents aux terminaux. Pas de formulaires de douanes, pas de notification pré-able aux terminaux, pas de transport ! 

IMPORTER DANS le ROYAUME UNI
Étape 1: Obtenir un Numéro EORI!
En tant que propriétaire d’entreprise, vous devez vous assurer que votre entreprise dispose d’un numéro d’enregistrement et d’identification d’opérateur économique (EORI). Afin de continuer à importer des marchandises au Royaume-Uni, vous aurez besoin d’un EORI à 12 chiffres commençant par GB. Vous n’aurez peut-être pas besoin d’un numéro EORI si votre entreprise est basée sur des services ou si vous souhaitez déplacer des marchandises entre l’Irlande du Nord et l’Irlande. Si votre entreprise ne possède pas de numéro EORI, vous risquez de subir des retards et une augmentation des coûts lors de l’importation de marchandises. Vérifiez les documents dont vous pourriez avoir besoin pour demander un numéro EORI ici.

Étape 2: Faire des Déclarations D’Importation!
Pour faire des déclarations d’importation, vous pouvez soit engager un agent, soit le faire vous-même. 


EMBAUCHE D’UN AGENT DES DOUANES:
Les transitaires, les courtiers et les opérateurs de colis rapides font partie des types d’agents qui peuvent gérer les douanes à votre place. Les transitaires peuvent vous aider à déplacer les marchandises à travers le monde. Ils peuvent même prendre des dispositions pour vous aider à obtenir le dédouanement. Les courtiers ou agents des douanes assurent le dédouanement.Les opérateurs de colis rapides peuvent vous aider à déplacer des documents, des colis et du fret à travers le monde dans un laps de temps spécifique. Ils peuvent même gérer le dédouanement à votre place, à condition que vous leur donniez des instructions écrites. Les instructions doivent préciser si ces agents agissent pour vous directement ou indirectement. Si la création de l’entreprise est récente et que vous êtes toujours à la recherche d’un agent en douane, vous pouvez en trouver un dans la liste des agents en douane du HMRC. 


DÉCLARER VOUS-MÊME IMPORT:
Si vous effectuez vous-même des déclarations d’importation en douane, vous devez savoir trois choses importantes lorsque vous importez de l’extérieur du Royaume-Uni: comments ou mettre, quand soumettre et quelles cases remplir.
a. Comment soumettre – Si vous soumettez vos déclarations vous-même, elles doivent être envoyées par voie électronique via le système de gestion des douanes du fret importé et exporté (CHIEF). Pour ce faire, vous devez d’abord faire une demande d’accès à CHIEF, puis acheter un logiciel tiers pour soumettre des déclarations par voie électronique via CHIEF. Lors du déplacement de marchandises dans des bagages ou de petits véhicules, vous devrez soumettre une déclaration complète à l’avance si les marchandises remplissent l’une des conditions suivantes:- la valeur des marchandises est supérieure à 900 euros- la marchandise pèse plus de 1000 kg- vous déplacez des produits soumis à accise ou soumis à des restrictions- les marchandises nécessitent une licence- vous prévoyez de demander une réparation 
b. Quand soumettre – Dans des circonstances normales, un propriétaire d’entreprise doit soumettre une déclaration complète lorsque les marchandises entrent au Royaume-Uni. Si vous déplacez vos marchandises vers un stockage temporaire sous contrôle douanier, elles peuvent rester en stock pendant 90 jours. Si le délai de 90 jours est dépassé, vous devrez payer les droits, la TVA et la pénalité. Le processus de déclaration peut varier si vous utilisez la procédure de déclaration simplifiée ou si vous opérez sous une autorisation EIDR (entrée dans le dossier du déclarant).En cas de Brexit sans accord, les marchandises que vous importez de l’UE pourraient être retardées. En effet, cela peut prendre plus de temps que d’habitude pour soumettre une déclaration complète et payer vos droits d’importation et votre TVA.En cas de Brexit sans accord, vous pouvez toujours utiliser les ports roll-on roll off ou le tunnel sous la Manche pour importer des marchandises de l’UE. Vous devrez peut-être produire des déclarations en douane et payer tout droit d’accise ouTVA. 
c. Boîtes à remplir – Chaque fois que vous déplacez des marchandises, vous devez inclure le code marchandise dans vos déclarations en douane. Vous devrez peut-être également inclure le code de procédure douanière (CPC), qui identifie la procédure douanière appliquée lors du déplacement des marchandises.

Étape 3: Facilitez L’Importation!
Il existe d’autres procédures douanières conçues pour rationaliser le processus, comme la convention de transit commun (CTC), qui simplifie la manière dont les marchandises sont transportées entre ou à travers l’UE et les pays de transit commun. Si votre entreprise importe fréquemment des marchandises, vous pouvez créer un compte de report des droits. Cela vous permet d’effectuer un paiement par intervalle de temps (par exemple, un mois), au lieu d’effectuer des paiements chaque fois que vous importez quelque chose. Vous pouvez également obtenir des autorisations douanières, mais vous aurez besoin d’un compte différé pour cela.

Étape 4: Vérifiez les Taux de Taxes et de Droits à Payer!
Pour chaque importation, vous devrez payer les droits de douane et la TVA. Si le Royaume-Uni quitte l’UE sans accord, les tarifs douaniers pour les importations en provenance de l’UE et du reste du monde changeront. Les rapports indiquent que les taux temporaires seront applicables jusqu’à 12 mois jusqu’à ce que le gouvernement termine sa consultation publique et introduit un régime tarifaire permanent.En fonction de la provenance des marchandises, les taux de droits peuvent être classés comme préférentiels (également appelés nation la plus favorisée ou NPF) et non préférentiels.Un taux tarifaire préférentiel sera applicable aux marchandises si le pays d’où elles sont importées a conclu un accord commercial avec le Royaume-Uni et fait partie du système de préférences généralisé du Royaume-Uni.Des tarifs non préférentiels seront applicables aux pays qui ne détiennent pas d’accord commercial officiel avec le Royaume-Uni et devront à terme se conformer aux réglementations commerciales mises en place par l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC). Vous pouvez découvrir quels seront les tarifs non préférentiels en cas de Brexit sans accord ici. Si vous avez enregistré votre entreprise à la TVA, vous devrez alors payer votre TVA à l’importation lors du dépôt de votre déclaration de TVA. Si votre entreprise implique l’importation d’alcool, de tabac ou de biocarburants, vous devrez également payer des droits d’accise. Vous pouvez trouver les taux des droits d’accise ici.

Étape 5: Obtenez le bon Type de Licence pour le Type de Marchandises que vous Importez!
En fonction des types de marchandises que vous transportez au Royaume-Uni, vous devrez peut-être détenir une licence ou un certificat spécial. Pour certaines marchandises, vous devrez peut-être même payer des frais d’inspection. Vous pouvez vérifier ici si vous avez besoin de licences pour les marchandises que vous importez.


BRITCHAM APPUI
Ici, à la Chambre de commerce britannique, nous continuerons à vous mettre à jour avec les informations nécessaires pour aider tous nos membres à réussir. Nous sommes tous dans le même bateau et avec les bons plans en place, la confiance des consommateurs peut être rétablie. BritCham offre un soutien, des conseils et une couverture spécialisée pour le Brexit et le COVID-19, y compris des webinaires, des ateliers et des événements qui donneront à votre entreprise les outils dont elle a besoin pour traverser cette période difficile. Cliquez ici pour vous inscrire: https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events


IMPORT IN DIE EU

Schritt 1: Stellen Sie sich beim Zoll vor!
Sind Sie beim Zoll noch nicht bekannt? Beantragen Sie umgehend eine EORI-Nummer. Jedes Unternehmen in Europa, das aus Großbritannien exportiert, benötigt eine GB EORI-Nummer – ohne eine können Sie nicht exportieren. Wenn Sie ein Importeur oder Exporteur sind, der einen Spediteur oder Zollagenten für Ihre Import- und Exporterklärungen verwendet, wenden Sie sich bitte an den nationalen Zoll, da das Antragsverfahren von Land zu Land unterschiedlich sein kann.

Schritt 2: Entscheiden Sie, wer sich um die Import- und Exporterklärungen kümmert!
Nach dem Brexit endet die Übergangszeit, Bestimmen Sie, ob Sie selbst Import- und / oder Exporterklärungen beim Zoll einreichen oder ob Sie hierfür einen Spediteur oder Zollagenten einsetzen. Wenn Sie die Erklärungen selbst einreichen, benötigen Sie separate Software und Lizenzen. Für diese Software finden Sie auf der niederländischen Zollwebsite eine Übersicht möglicher Lieferanten.



Schritt 3: Vereinbaren Sie, wer die Voranmeldung der Zollpapiere vornimmt!
Nach dem Brexit ist an allen Fährterminals und den meisten Shortsea-Terminals die Voranmeldung der Zolldokumente obligatorisch. Dies kann durch den Importeur/Exporteur, aber auch durch den Spediteur, Zollagenten oder bei Gelegenheit durch den Frachtführer erfolgen. Vereinbaren Sie klar und deutlich, wer diese Aufgabe übernimmt! Ohne Vorankündigung wird dem Frachtführer kein Zugang zum Terminal gewährt.


Schritt 4: Abonnieren Sie die Dienste!
Importeure sollten die erforderlichen Daten über eine EDI-Schnittstelle an das papierlose Zoll- und Verbrauchsteuer system (PLDA) des Zollcomputers übermitteln oder in das Einfuhrabfertigungs system eingeben. Die Einfuhranmeldung einschließlich der Sicherheitsdaten wurde zwangsweise online über das PLDA-Programm (ICS = Import Control System) eingereicht. Der Importeur kann die Waren ebenfalls deklarieren, indem er dem belgischen Zoll ein fertiges einheitliches Verwaltungsdokument (SAD-Formular) vorlegt. Das offizielle Modell für schriftliche Zollanmeldungen ist das einheitliche Verwaltungsdokument (SAD). Die SAD beschreibt Produkte und ihre weltweite Bewegung und ist von grundlegender Bedeutung für den Handel außerhalb der EU oder für Waren von außerhalb der EU. Waren, die in den Zollbereich der EU gebracht werden, unterliegen ab dem Zeitpunkt ihrer Annahme der Zollaufsicht, bis die Zollformalitäten erledigt sind. Die Gegenstände werden durch eine zusammenfassende Erklärung gesichert, die dokumentiert wird, sobald die Dinge den Zollbehörden gezeigt wurden.

Schritt 5: Prüfen Sie im voraus, ob das Terminal über das Zolldokument verfügt!
Nur elektronisch vorangemeldetes Frachtgut kann auf dem Terminal abgeliefert und abgeholt werden. Andernfalls gerät der Transport des Containers oder Trailers hier ins Stocken. Sie werden dann zu einem temporären Parkplätz weitergeleitet. Sie können sich dort an Ihren Kunden oder Transportplaner wenden, um die notwendigen Formalitäten zu erledigen.Überprüfen Sie daher immer den Status am Terminal. Ohne Zolldokument, ohne Voranmeldung am Terminal, kein Transport!

IMPORT NACH GROßBRITANNIEN

Schritt 1: Erhalten sie eine EORI Nummer!
Als Geschäftsinhaber müssen Sie sicherstellen, dass Ihr Unternehmen über eine EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number) verfügt. Um weiterhin Waren nach Großbritannien importieren zu können, benötigen Sie einen 12-stelligen EORI, der mit GB beginnt. Möglicherweise benötigen Sie keine EORI-Nummer, wenn Ihr Unternehmen serviceorientiert ist oder wenn Sie Waren zwischen Nordirland und Irland transportieren möchten. Wenn Ihr Unternehmen keine EORI-Nummer hat, kann es beim Import von Waren zu Verzögerungen und höheren Kosten kommen. Überprüfen Sie hier, welche Dokumente Sie möglicherweise benötigen, um eine EORI-Nummer zu beantragen.

Schritt 2: Einfuhrerklärungen Machen!
Um Importerklärungen abzugeben, können Sie entweder einen Agenten beauftragen oder dies selbst tun. 


EINEN ZOLLAGENTEN ANSTELLEN: 
Spediteure, Makler und schnelle Paketbetreiber sind einige der Arten von Agenten, die den Zoll für Sie erledigen können. Spediteure können Sie beim Transport der Waren um die Welt unterstützen. Sie können sogar Vorkehrungen treffen, um Ihnen bei der Zollabfertigung zu helfen.Makler oder Zollagenten sorgen für die Zollabfertigung.Schnelle Paketbetreiber können Ihnen helfen, Dokumente, Pakete und Fracht innerhalb eines bestimmten Zeitraums weltweit zu transportieren. Sie können sogar die Zollabfertigung für Sie erledigen, sofern Sie ihnen schriftliche Anweisungen geben. In den Anweisungen muss klargestellt werden, ob diese Agenten direkt oder indirekt für Sie tätig sind. Wenn Ihr Unternehmen neu ist und Sie noch auf der Suche nach einem Zollagenten sind, finden Sie einen aus der Liste der Zollagenten der HMRC. 


ERKLÄRUNG IMPORTIERT SICH:
Wenn Sie selbst Zoll importer klärungen abgeben, müssen Sie beim Import von außerhalb Großbritanniens drei wichtige Dinge wissen: wie Sie einreichen, wann Sie einreichen und welche Felder Sie ausfüllen müssen.
a. Einreichen – Wenn Sie Ihre Erklärungen selbst einreichen, müssen sie elektronisch über das Zollab fertigungs system für Import- und Exportfracht (CHIEF) gesendet werden. Dazu müssen Sie zunächst einen Antrag auf Zugang zu CHIEF stellen und dann Software von Drittanbietern kaufen, um Erklärungen elektronisch über CHIEF einzureichen.Wenn Sie Waren im Gepäck oder in kleinen Fahrzeugen bewegen, müssen Sie im Voraus eine vollständige Erklärung abgeben, wenn die Waren eine der folgenden Bedingungen erfüllen: 
– Der Warenwert beträgt über 900 Euro- Die Ware wiegt mehr als 1.000 kg- Sie bewegen verbrauchst euer pflichtige oder eingeschränkte Waren- Die Ware benötigt eine Lizenz- Sie planen, Erleichterung zu fordern. 
b. Zeitpunkt der Einreichung – Unter normalen Umständen muss ein Geschäftsinhaber eine vollständige Erklärung abgeben, wenn Waren nach Großbritannien einreisen. Wenn Sie Ihre Waren unter zollamtlicher Aufsicht vorübergehend lagern, können sie 90 Tage gelagert werden. Wenn die 90 -Tage-Frist überschritten wird, müssen Sie die Abgabe, die Mehrwertsteuer und die Strafe bezahlen. Der Deklarationsprozess kann variieren, wenn Sie das vereinfachte Deklarationsverfahren verwenden oder unter einer EIDR-Berechtigung (Eintrag im Datensatz des Anmelders) arbeiten. Im Falle eines No-Deal-Brexit können sich die Waren, die Sie aus der EU importieren, verzögern. Dies liegt daran, dass es möglicherweise länger als gewöhnlich dauert, bis Sie eine vollständige Erklärung abgeben und Ihre Einfuhrzölle und Mehrwertsteuer bezahlen.Im Falle eines No-Deal-Brexit können Sie weiterhin die Roll-on-Roll-off-Häfen oder den Kanaltunnel nutzen, um Waren aus der EU zu importieren. Möglicherweise müssen Sie Zollanmeldungen vorlegen und Verbrauchsteuern oder Mehrwertsteuer zahlen.
c. Zu vervollständigende Kisten – Jedes Mal, wenn Sie Waren bewegen, müssen Sie den Warencode in Ihre Zollanmeldungen aufnehmen. Möglicherweise müssen Sie auch den Zollkodex (CPC) angeben, der das Zollverfahren angibt, das beim Transport der Waren angewendet wird.

Schritt 3: Einfacher Einfuhren
Es gibt andere Zollverfahren zur Straffung des Prozesses, wie das Common Transit Convention (CTC), das den Transport von Waren zwischen oder durch die EU und die gemeinsamen Transitländer vereinfacht.Wenn Ihr Unternehmen häufig Waren importiert, können Sie ein Zollaufschubkonto einrichten. Auf diese Weise können Sie eine Zahlung pro Zeitintervall (z. B. einen Monat) ausführen, anstatt jedes Mal Zahlungen zu leisten, wenn Sie etwas importieren. Sie können auch Zollgenehmigungen erhalten, dafür benötigen Sie jedoch ein Aufschubkonto.

Schritt 4: Prüfen sie die zu Bezahlenden Steuern und Pflichten!
Für jeden Import müssen Sie Zölle und Mehrwertsteuer bezahlen. Wenn das Vereinigte Königreich die EU ohne ein Abkommen verlässt, werden sich die Zolltarife für Einfuhren aus der EU und dem Rest der Welt ändern. Berichten zufolge gelten die vorübergehenden Tarife bis zu 12 Monate, bis die Regierung ihre öffentliche Konsultation abgeschlossen und ein dauerhaftes Tarifsystem eingeführt hat.Je nachdem, woher die Waren stammen, können die Zollsätze entweder als bevorzugt (auch als Meistbegünstigte Nation oder MFN bezeichnet) oder als nicht bevorzugt eingestuft werden.Ein Vorzugstarif gilt für Waren, wenn das Land, aus dem sie eingeführt werden, ein Handelsabkommen mit dem Vereinigten Königreich hat und Teil des allgemeinen Präferenzschemas des Vereinigten Königreichs ist. Nicht präferenzzölle gelten für diejenigen Länder, die kein offizielles Handelsabkommen mit dem Vereinigten Königreich haben und möglicherweise die von der Welthandelsorganisation (WTO) festgelegten Handelsbestimmungen einhalten müssen. Hier erfahren Sie, wie hoch die nichtpräferenziellen Tarife im Falle eines Brexit ohne Deal sein werden.Wenn Sie Ihr Unternehmen für die Mehrwertsteuer registriert haben, müssen Sie Ihre Einfuhrumsatzsteuer bezahlen, während Sie Ihre Mehrwertsteuererklärung einreichen. Wenn Ihr Geschäft den Import von Alkohol, Tabak oder Biokraftstoffen beinhaltet, müssen Sie auch Verbrauchsteuern zahlen. Die Preise für Verbrauchsteuern finden Sie hier.

Schritt 5: Holen Sie sich die richtige Art der Lizenz für die Art der Waren, die Sie importieren!
Abhängig davon, welche Arten von Waren Sie nach Großbritannien umziehen, benötigen Sie möglicherweise eine spezielle Lizenz oder ein Zertifikat. Für einige Waren müssen Sie möglicherweise sogar eine Inspektionsgebühr zahlen. Hier können Sie prüfen, ob Sie Lizenzen für die Waren benötigen, die Sie importieren.


BRITCHAM UNTERSTÜTZUNG
Hier bei der britischen Handelskammer werden wir Sie weiterhin mit den notwendigen Informationen aktualisieren, um allen unseren Mitgliedern zum Erfolg zu verhelfen. Wir sind alle gemeinsam dabei, und mit den richtigen Plänen kann das Verbrauchervertrauen wiederhergestellt werden. BritCham bietet Unterstützung, Anleitung und spezielle Berichterstattung sowohl für den Brexit als auch für COVID-19, einschließlich Webinaren, Workshops und Veranstaltungen, die Ihrem Unternehmen die Tools bieten, die es benötigt, um durch diese herausfordernde Zeit zu navigieren. Klicken Sie hier, um sich zu registrieren: https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events


IMPORTEREN IN DE EU
Stap 1: Maak u bekend bij de Douane!
Nog geen relatie met de Douane? Vraag zo snel mogelijk bij hen een EORI-nummer aan. Elk bedrijf in Europa dat betrokken is bij het exporteren vanuit het VK, heeft een GB EORI-nummer nodig – u kunt niet zonder een nummer exporteren. Als u een importeur of exporteur bent die een expediteur of douane-expediteur gebruikt voor uw in- en uitvoeraangiften, neem dan contact op met de nationale douane, aangezien het aanvraagproces van land tot land kan verschillen.

Stap 2: Bepaal wie de invoer- of uitvoeraangiften doet!
Na afloop van de Brexit-overgangsperiode,
bepaal als importeur of exporteur of u na de Brexit zelf bij de Douane invoer- c.q. uitvoeraangiften wilt doen, of dat u een expediteur of douaneagent inschakelt. Doet u de aangiften zelf, dan zijn aparte software en vergunningen nodig. Voor deze software vindt u op de douane website een overzicht van mogelijke leveranciers.


Stap 3: Spreek af wie de douanedocumenten voormeldt!
Na de Brexit is het voormelden van douanedocumenten bij alle ferryterminals en het merendeel van de shortsea-terminals verplicht. Dat kan de importeur/exporteur doen, maar ook de expediteur, douaneagent of bij gelegenheid de vervoerder. Spreek dit goed af! Zonder voormelding krijgt de vervoerder geen toegang tot de terminal.





Stap 4: Abonneer u op de services!
Importeurs dienen de vereiste gegevens in het in klarings systeem in te voeren of in te voeren via een EDI-interface naar het douanecomputer Paperless Customs and Excises (PLDA) -systeem. De aangifte ten invoer, inclusief beveiligingsgegevens, is verplicht online ingediend via het PLDA-programma (ICS = Import Control System).De importeur kan de goederen eveneens aangeven door een afgewerkt Enig Administratief Document (ED-formulier) voor te leggen aan de Belgische Douane. Het officiële model voor schriftelijke aangiften bij de douane is het Enig Administratief Document (ED). Het ED omschrijft producten en hun verplaatsingen over de hele wereld en is van fundamenteel belang voor de handel buiten de EU, of van niet-EU-goederen. Goederen die het douanegebied van de EU binnenkomen, zijn vanaf het moment van binnenkomst onderworpen aan douanetoezicht totdat de douaneformaliteiten zijn afgehandeld. Artikelen worden beveiligd door een summiere aangifte die wordt gedocumenteerd zodra de zaken aan de douane zijn getoond.

Stap 5: Check vooraf of de terminal het douanedocument heeft!
Alleen digitaal voorgemelde lading kan de terminal op en af. Anders komt de container of trailer hier tot stilstand. U wordt  dan verwezen naar een tijdelijke parkeerlocatie. U kunt daar contact opnemen met uw opdrachtgever of transportplanner om de noodzakelijke formaliteiten alsnog in orde te krijgen.Check daarom voordat u gaat rijden altijd de status bij de terminal. Geen douanedocument, geen voormelding bij de terminal, géén vervoer!

IMPORTEREN IN HET VK
Stap 1: Krijg Een EORI Nummer!
Als bedrijfseigenaar moet u ervoor zorgen dat uw bedrijf een Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number (EORI) heeft. Als u goederen in het VK wilt blijven importeren, heeft u een 12-cijferige EORI nodig die begint met GB. Mogelijk hebt u geen EORI-nummer nodig als uw bedrijf servicegericht is of als u goederen wilt vervoeren tussen Noord-Ierland en Ierland. Als uw bedrijf geen EORI-nummer heeft, kunt u te maken krijgen met vertragingen en hogere kosten bij het importeren van goederen.Bekijk hier welke documenten u eventueel nodig heeft om een ​​EORI-nummer aan te vragen.

Stap 2: Doe Importverklaringe!
Om aangiften ten invoer te doen, kunt u een makelaar inhuren of dit zelf doen.


EEN DOUANE-AGENT INHUREN: Expediteurs, makelaars en snelle pakketbeheerders zijn enkele van de soorten agenten die de douane voor u kunnen afhandelen. Expediteurs kunnen u helpen bij het verplaatsen van de goederen over de hele wereld. Ze kunnen zelfs regelingen treffen om u te helpen bij de inklaring. Makelaars of douane-expediteurs zorgen voor inklaring door de douane. Exploitanten van snelle pakketten kunnen u helpen binnen een bepaald tijdsbestek documenten, pakketten en vracht over de hele wereld te vervoeren. Ze kunnen zelfs de douane-inklaring voor u afhandelen, op voorwaarde dat u hen schriftelijke instructies geeft. De instructies moeten duidelijk maken of deze agenten direct of indirect voor u optreden. Als uw bedrijf nieuw is en u nog steeds op zoek bent naar een douane-expediteur, kunt u er een vinden op de lijst met douane-expediteurs van HMRC.


HET AANGEVEN VAN IMPORT ZELF:
Als u zelf aangiften ten invoer doet, zijn er drie belangrijke dingen die u moet weten wanneer u van buiten het VK importeert: hoe u moet indienen, wanneer u moet indienen en welke vakken u moet invullen.een. 
a. Hoe indienen – Als u uw aangiften zelf indient, moeten deze elektronisch worden verzonden via het systeem Douane Afhandeling van Import en Export Freight (CHIEF). Hiervoor moet u zich eerst aanmelden om toegang te krijgen tot CHIEF en vervolgens kopen software van derden om aangiften elektronisch in te dienen via CHIEF.Bij het vervoeren van goederen in bagage of kleine voertuigen, moet u vooraf een volledige aangifte indienen als de goederen aan een van de volgende voorwaarden voldoen:- de waarde van goederen is meer dan 900 euro- de goederen wegen meer dan 1.000 kg- U verplaatst accijnsgoederen of goederen waarvoor beperkingen gelden- de goederen hebben een vergunning nodig- U bent van plan uitstel te eisen
b. Wanneer indienen – Onder normale omstandigheden moet een bedrijfseigenaar een volledige aangifte indienen wanneer goederen het VK binnenkomen. Verplaatst u uw goederen naar tijdelijke opslag onder douanetoezicht, dan kunnen ze 90 dagen in opslag blijven. Als de termijn van 90 dagen wordt overschreden, moet u de invoerrechten, btw en boete betalen.Het aangifteproces kan variëren als u de vereenvoudigde aangifteprocedure gebruikt of opereert onder een EIDR-machtiging (vermelding in het dossier van de aangever). Bij een no deal Brexit kunnen de goederen die u uit de EU importeert vertraging oplopen. Het kan namelijk langer duren dan normaal voordat u een volledige aangifte doet en uw invoerrechten en btw betaalt.Bij een no deal Brexit kun je nog steeds gebruikmaken van de roll on roll off ports of de Kanaaltunnel om goederen uit de EU te importeren. Het kan zijn dat u douaneaangiften moet overleggen en eventuele accijnzen of btw moet betalen.
c. In te vullen dozen – Elke keer dat u goederen verplaatst, moet u de goederencode in uw douaneaangiften vermelden. Mogelijk moet u ook de Customs Procedure Code (CPC) vermelden, die de toegepaste douaneregeling identificeert tijdens het verplaatsen van de goederen.

Stap 3: Maak Het Importeren Eenvoudiger!
Er zijn andere douaneprocedures die zijn ontworpen om het proces te stroomlijnen, zoals de Overeenkomst inzake gemeenschappelijk douanevervoer (CTC), die de manier waarop goederen worden vervoerd tussen of door de EU en de landen van gemeenschappelijk douanevervoer vereenvoudigt.Als uw bedrijf regelmatig goederen invoert, kunt u een rekening voor uitstel van invoerrechten aanmaken. Hiermee kunt u één betaling per tijdsinterval (bijvoorbeeld een maand) doen, in plaats van elke keer dat u iets importeert, te betalen. U kunt ook douanevergunningen krijgen, maar hiervoor heeft u een uitstelrekening nodig.

Stap 4: Controleer de te Betalen Belasting en Rechten!
Voor elke invoer moet u douanerechten en btw betalen. Als het VK de EU verlaat zonder akkoord, zullen de douanerechten voor invoer uit de EU en de rest van de wereld veranderen. Volgens rapporten zullen de tijdelijke tarieven tot 12 maanden van toepassing zijn totdat de regering haar openbare raadpleging heeft afgerond en een permanent tariefregime invoert. Op basis van waar de goederen vandaan komen, kunnen de tarieven worden geclassificeerd als preferentieel (ook wel meest begunstigde natie of MFN genoemd) en niet-preferentieel.Een preferentieel tarief zal van toepassing zijn op goederen als het land waaruit ze worden geïmporteerd een handelsovereenkomst heeft met het VK en deel uitmaakt van het algemene preferentieschema van het VK.Niet-preferentiële tarieven zullen van toepassing zijn op die landen die geen officiële handelsovereenkomst met het VK hebben en die uiteindelijk zullen moeten voldoen aan de handelsregels die zijn opgesteld door de Wereldhandelsorganisatie (WTO). Wat de niet-preferentiële tarieven zijn bij een no deal Brexit, leest u hier. Als u uw bedrijf voor btw heeft aangemeld, dan moet u uw btw bij invoer betalen bij het indienen van uw btw-aangifte. Als u in uw bedrijf alcohol, tabak of biobrandstoffen importeert, moet u ook accijnzen betalen. De tarieven voor accijnzen vindt u hier.

Stap 5: Krijg het Juiste Type Licentie voor het Soort Goederen dat u Importeert!
Afhankelijk van het soort goederen dat u naar het VK verhuist, kan het zijn dat u een speciale vergunning of certificaat nodig heeft. Voor sommige goederen moet u misschien zelfs inspectiekosten betalen. Hier kunt u controleren of u vergunningen nodig heeft voor de goederen die u invoert.


BRITCHAM ONDERSTEUNING
Hier bij de Britse Kamer van Koophandel zullen we u blijven voorzien van de nodige informatie om al onze leden te helpen slagen. We zitten allemaal in hetzelfde schuitje en met de juiste plannen kan het vertrouwen van de consument worden hersteld. BritCham biedt ondersteuning, begeleiding en gespecialiseerde dekking voor zowel Brexit als COVID-19, inclusief webinars, workshops en evenementen die uw bedrijf de tools geven die het nodig heeft om door deze uitdagende periode te navigeren. Klik hier om te registreren: https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events


By César Guerra Guerrero
Partner & Director of Trade Policy at Euraffex

The number of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have surged in the last years. It is clear that applied tariff levels and the number of comprehensive trade agreements of a country determine its readiness to constructively engage in ambitious trade treaties. For example, it is relatively easy to strike deals with Singapore or Chile, but it is completely different with Mercosur. In my view, a successful conclusion of a process depends on the political will and the real room for manoeuvre to accommodate each other’s interests.

Most of the time, governments must make important and difficult decisions to bridge gaps, especially in the final stages of negotiations. Trade negotiators have the ability to present results in a way that shows the benefits and minimises concessions to justify their decisions, so that FTAs will always prove positive in countries, or blocks of countries, that are so lined up with the free trade agenda. However, this is not exempted from partisan backfire that would normally use political arguments to prevent moving forward on the trade agenda. As long as negotiators prove that sensitivities were protected by using alternative treatments and specific non-trade concerns were addressed somehow, countries would be inclined to make hard calls to close a deal.

In the meantime, the private sector- whether on the offensive or the defensive side- is faced with uncertainty. It is difficult to know how their products are going to be treated if they are part of the final package that would solve the most difficult issues to clench a deal. The reading and identification of true red lines is crucial for governments. Stakeholders play an important role to influence this vision. Using the example of the EU-UK trade negotiations, is the level playing field a true red line for the European Union or is it just the access to British fishing waters? What are the potential trade-offs all parties can live with? The answer is communication and creativity. The private sector must be part of the solution and governments should be open for feedback as it is in their best interests. The successful outcome for business sectors and individual companies often depends on the engagement with trade negotiators and making the case with sound arguments, whilst providing reasonable alternatives to the ideal outcome.


Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. 
We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period. Click here to register: https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events

By Yasmine Lingemann

Belgians are big savers. According to recent figures released by the National Bank of Belgium (BNB), Belgians have reached a record high in average household savings, with figures reaching 290 billion euros in aggregate regulated savings accounts. On average, the household savings ratio in Belgium is 12.6%, which by comparison is just over double that of the UK, where households save 6.2% of their disposable income. Belgians have traditionally saved a lot, yet even in an era of zero or negative interest rates on savings, the lack of spending is beginning to become problematic and even a hinderance to the national economy.

Globally, the Coronavirus pandemic has hurt economies everywhere. With firms in the UK and Europe also having to simultaneously adapt and create contingency plans to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition, businesses face the situation where they need to use alternative methods to attract clients and re-establish confidence in their company. In Belgium, that means trying to encourage people to spend more and save less at the same time as rising unemployment, weakening job security, and people generally tightening their belts and restricting spending to the bare necessities.

Despite this, firms must not lose hope: Now is the time to seek new opportunities. Businesses are responding, many are offering their goods and services in a different way. In Belgium, where consumers have traditionally been less open to online commerce, increased time at home in front of a screen enables households to be more susceptible to e-commerce and advertising. Businesses must use this time to improve communication and dialogue with their clients to reestablish trust and retain brand loyalty. Getting active online and keeping your customer base up to date on changes will help businesses in the long run and hasten the adoption of a more digitalised economy.

Belgium government support has not been as forthcoming as in the UK. However there are a variety of loans and tax deferral schemes that have been put in place to weaken the damage felt by Belgian firms.

Click here for Belgium’s government website to see how your business can benefit from the support available: https://www.belgium.be/en

Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period.

See our website here for more details on how we can help you: https://www.britishchamber.be/

As part of the VAT consequences of the departure of the UK from the EU, Belgian VAT authorities have officially communicated to business their position as to the need for UK established companies, that currently are VAT registered in Belgium via a direct VAT registration, to appoint an individual fiscal representative as a result of Brexit.

The letter of the Belgian VAT authorities confirms that UK established taxable persons will have to fulfil the VAT obligations which are imposed on all VAT taxable persons who are not established in the EU. The most significant VAT obligation is the requirement to appoint an individual fiscal representative for VAT in Belgium.

Because of the general nature of this obligation, UK established companies will no longer be able to operate a direct VAT registration as from the date Brexit will be effective, in principle 30 March 2019.

To discuss this, please feel free to get in touch with Peter Empsten (details below) and ensure your business meets this new administrative formality. Peter will also be able to share a letter from the Belgian VAT authorities outlining the change.

Peter Empsten – Head of Indirect Tax

Crowe VAT Representation 

E-MAIL : peter.empsten@crowe.be

One of the British Chamber’s task forces is the Tax, Finance and Legal (TFL) task force. Its members include representatives of large to medium size accounting and tax firms, law firms, and some of the largest banks.

The Tax, Finance and Legal task force delivers regular seminars on practical tax, financial, economic and legal issues and updates for (international) businesses operating in Belgium.  These seminars offer British Chamber members the opportunity to showcase their expertise to a wide network of business professionals. Seminars hosted in 2018 included:

 

  • Politics and economics collide: Looming crisis or myth? – An informative presentation outlining how political developments such as Trump’s policies and Brexit will impact business operations and opportunities in Belgium, UK and broadly in Europe.P1010244.JPG
  • Masterclass in cross-border estate planning – At this event we heard how to plan your estate like an expert, and how you can save on Belgian and overseas inheritap1010376nce tax.
  • Are you or your employees working in different countries? Here is what you need to know – For anyone who frequently operates in multiple countries, or manages employees who do so, this seminar gave advice on the best solutions for any tax, social security and labour law issues they might face

 

 

 

 

 

The Tax, Finance & Legal task force also oversees the chamber’s annual Expat Financial Affairs conference, allowing expats to listen to informative presentations on investments, pensions, self-employment and estate planning, and mingle with fellow expats over food and drinks.

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Although of course Brexit and facilitating business with the UK are an important part of our agenda, the TFL activities are still aimed at a much larger group of international companies and expats in Belgium.

Since we want to focus on topics that are of interest to our members, please let the TFL task force know about any tax, finance or legal topic you would like to see covered. Or if you would like to get actively involved in an event, please propose topics you would be interested in driving by contacting the team

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Marc Verbeek, Tax Partner, Crowe Spark & Chair, Tax, Finance and Legal Task Force

Preparing for Brexit 

It is less than 5 months until Brexit and the Article 50 deadline on 29 March 2019, and whilst rumours abound of deals, unfortunately – from a business perspective – the spectre of a non-orderly withdrawal outcome remains fully in view. With a few exceptions, it is a wide and deep business consensus that such a no-deal outcome would be an extremely disruptive negative outcome for economic operators on both sides of the Channel. It’s worth repeating – from a business perspective – no deal is the worst deal for everyone.

If there is no withdrawal deal, one might hope there will be side deals covering key issues such as aviation or data, but this cannot be guaranteed, particularly if negotiations break down badly. Consequences will be unpredictable, both politically and economically.

Irrespective of that, we can expect significant disruption at all UK/EU borders – notably with France, Belgium, the Netherlands and in main airports. This is a simple function of the UK leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market without a ready replacement legal framework and with the systems developed to take over.

The situation of the Irish Border in the case of no deal is also unclear – both sides have committed to no ‘hard border’, though both sides may have legal obligations under both EU law in the case of Ireland, and under the WTO in the case of the UK to undertake customs and regulatory checks. Once the UK has left the EU Customs Union and Single Market, there will have to be checks and formalities for goods, the only question is where these checks will take place and exactly what formalities will be applicable.

Preparedness notices from both the EU and the UK Government have flagged the respective legal provisions at the moment of the UK leaving the EU, but do not give a clear roadmap for affected businesses in the case of a collapse of the withdrawal negotiations or a non-ratification by the respective parliaments.

At a minimum, companies should be looking at the potential impact on their supply chains of a potential raising of regulatory and customs barriers, possible queues on both sides of the border as new systems and formalities are introduced, as well as the possible restriction of freedom of movement for staff. On a sector by sector basis, the cessation of regulatory arrangement and licensing may also create new barriers to market.

The British Chamber of Commerce | EU & Belgium will stay close to the UK Government, the EU institutions and the Belgian Authorities during this challenging period. We are the go to organisation that authorities are asking for feedback from on business concerns. Get in touch, use our platform and share your concerns, specific or otherwise so that we can get them to the right people.

Matt Hinde, Fleishman Hillard, and Morten Petersen, EPPA, Co-Chairs of the Future Relations Committee

If you have more questions about the prospect of a no deal Brexit, you can find more information on our website page – What to do if there is no deal?

Our next Brexit event – Brexit and Future Relations – An Update on the Irish Perspective – will take place on the 20th November. You can find more information on our website.

 

 

This blog post was written by Marc Verbeek.

Marc Verbeek

Marc Verbeek is a Tax Partner currently working for Crowe Horwath Vanhuynegem Associates in Belgium, prior to this he worked at the Belgian Ministry of Finance, before moving on to spend 26 years with BDO. Marc is a certified tax consultant. His expertise includes (international) corporate tax advice, international employment tax, corporate tax compliance, rulings and litigation.

One of the biggest changes to the way UK companies interact with HMRC, the UK tax authority, is coming into effect from 1 April 2019. Making Tax Digital (MTD) is HMRC’s initiative to bring technology and tax together, allowing HMRC to become a “world leading, digital tax authority.”

What does it mean?
The changes will mean that all UK VAT registered organisations with a turnover above the UK VAT registration threshold (£85.000) will have to:
• keep, and be able to provide, their UK VAT records digitally.
• submit their UK VAT data to HMRC through compatible software, not through the HMRC online portal.
HMRC will no longer allow UK VAT return figures to be manually entered in the HMRC online portal when submitting the UK VAT return. Instead, you will need to have software capable of doing this for you.

Will I be affected?
Any business registered for UK VAT as their turnover has exceeded the UK VAT registration threshold will be affected. Of those, some already have a digital mechanism to transpose the figures from the UK VAT return workings to a submission, however the majority do not. According to figures from the Chartered Institute of Taxation, the leading professional body in the UK for tax advisers, 87% of UK VAT taxable persons will have to take action as a result of the new rules. The only exemptions will be for religious reasons or in the event of insolvency procedures.

What about international businesses?
Of particular interest to Belgian businesses will be that almost everyone who is UK VAT registered will have to comply with the MTD rules; being established overseas or submitting UK VAT returns outside of the UK will not result in an exemption from MTD requirements.
In addition, it may be a greater challenge to overseas organisations to comply with MTD for UK VAT as their UK activities are likely to be a single part of a larger international activity. This could also be the case for UK organisations who are part of international groups required by their overseas head offices to operate specific accounting or reporting processes and software.
As a result, if your organisation is currently manually entering the UK VAT return figures on HMRC’s portal, MTD will present a significant change to your current UK VAT processes.

What are the main requirements?
HMRC’s intention is that software will be used to maintain the relevant digital records, calculate the UK VAT return figures and to submit the return electronically. This is to be done using functional compatible software.
This software should also act as a digital ‘bridge’ between the UK taxpayer and HMRC’s systems. It will no longer be acceptable for an organisation to manually transpose figures when submitting their UK VAT returns.

When does this take effect?
HMRC has indicated there will be a “soft landing” period between April 2019 and April 2020 without application of financial penalties for record-keeping failures. This is to assist organisations by allowing extra time to update their systems to be fully compliant. There will however, have to be a digital link from the outset between the spreadsheet and the linking software that submits the UK VAT return digitally.
MTD as it currently stands is likely to just be the start of the road; it is intended to be introduced for UK Income Taxes in April 2020 and it is not unreasonable to expect that the scope of what information and data is available electronically for HMRC to access remotely will only get broader. As a result, even with a soft landing period, companies need to proactively take steps to ensure they remain compliant.

What software should I use?
HMRC has stated that it will not be providing software for organisations to use, and currently they have not yet informed taxpayers as to commercial software suppliers who will be providing the “functional compatible software”. Commercial software providers are developing solutions and some organisations will have sufficient in-house IT capability to build their own.
“Functional compatible software” is a software program or set of compatible software programs that must be able to:
• record and preserve electronic records in an electronic form for up to six years
• create a UK VAT return from the digital records
• provide to HMRC information and returns from the electronic records in an electronic form and by using an Application Programme Interface (API) to link to HMRC’s systems
• receive information from HMRC.
There “must be a digital link” between all software used by the organisation for its UK VAT compliance. Examples are given in HMRC’s guidance and a very common one, likely to be familiar to a large number of organisations, is the situation where to prepare the UK VAT return the taxpayer:
– maintains its sales and purchases data in an accounting system
– downloads this data into a spreadsheet for manual manipulation
– manually enters the figures into HMRC’s website for submission.
Under the new rules, the links between the two software programs (accounting system and spreadsheet software) must be digital.

What now?
Although the implementation date is in 2019, like all technology projects, there is a lead time in making the necessary changes to be able to successfully implement the measures needed to comply with the new rules.

Organisations affected by MTD need to consider a strategy for the immediate requirements to be ready for the April 2019 launch date and also give thought as to whether these preparations should include a readiness for a likely future expansion of the MTD requirements, be it for additional UK VAT data or for other UK taxes such as Income Tax.

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Gain visibility and recognition for excellence in trade and export by applying for the Golden Bridge Trade and Investment Awards.

What is the Golden Bridge Trade and Export Awards?

The 2017 Golden Bridge Trade and Investment Awards present an exciting opportunity for UK companies trading or investing in Belgium, and Belgian and Luxembourgian companies trading or investing in the UK to showcase their bilateral success to an international jury and celebrate their achievements during an exclusive ceremony hosted by the British Ambassador to Belgium, Alison Rose at the British Residence in Brussels, at the heart of Europe.

The Golden Bridge Awards is co-organised by the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain.

Fun fact: Belgium was the 7th largest export market to the UK and the UK was the 12th largest export market to Belgium last year.

Why should you apply?

Expand your international network, gain business and political expertise, receive recognition for your achievements.

The Golden Bridge Award opens doors to an international network and the connections businesses need to succeed both at home and abroad. Our international panel of judges from the business community are also affiliated with regional trade and investment bodies as well as embassies from the UK, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Winning a Golden Bridge Award will solidify your credibility on any of the three markets and will reinforce your pivotal role  in the economic relationship between Belgium, the U.K. and Luxembourg.

Previous winners of the Best Newcomer category, Orega, shared that the recognition for their export credentials gave them even greater visibility.

“It has sent the right message to our business partners based in Belgium. The award delivers to our potential customers a strong message, as we were new comers on the market.”
-Orega, Golden Bridge Best Newcomer Winner 2016

The award made a positive impression on their business partners with their improved credibility.

Bel’Export, 2016 winner of the Golden Bridge Award for UK business to Belgium, shared that the Golden Bridge award raised their company profile internationally as well as at home.

“As company you gain visibility, in – and outside the UK. It is a recognition for doing a good job.”

-Bel’Export, Golden Bridge Winner 2016

What will you win?

The winners of the Global Bridge award will receive:

  • Visibility at the awards event itself.
  • A one-year free membership* of the British Chamber. If you qualify under our SME criteria, you receive free  membership already if you are shortlisted as a finalist.
  • Participation in our Golden Bridge Awards Winners’ Day programme in Brussels in January 2018 to celebrate your success.
  • Your company featured in the British Chamber’s annual publications and in articles on our social media channels.

Apply now! The final registration deadline is 30th September!
Do you want to be a Golden Bridge Awards partner? Check the Golden Bridge Trade & Investment Award page on our website for more information or contact Alexandra Trandafir at alexandra@britishchamber.be.

 The Gala Dinner for the Golden Bridge Awards will take place on Wednesday 22nd November 2017 at The British Ambassador’s Residence in Brussels. The applicants will be shortlisted based on their financial performance, their innovation and strategy abroad, and their motivation for entering the awards.

*regular membership

Accreditation logo - option 2

The British Chamber of Commerce works with a broad range of Accredited Service Providers to bring you the best professional advice for international businesses who are in or entering the Belgian market. This series aims to give you a bit of an insight into these companies; showcasing how they can help you develop your business. British Chamber members can book a free first consultation with any of our expert advisors.

We’ve been speaking to BNP Paribas Fortis on what they think the biggest issues are for business when joining the Belgian market.

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Which 3 questions should companies looking to do business in Belgium ask themselves?

You cannot enter a market without thoroughly analysing it first and having a clear idea of its main players and competitors. Which leads us quite nicely to the first question: What does my target market look like, and what are my market timing, KPIs and objectives going to be? Once you have answered this rather basic but essential question, you will need to determine how you are going to enter the market. Will you set out on your own, or do you appeal to a specialized partner to help you access the market more efficiently and reduce your time-to-market? Finally, you need to determine where in Belgium you will set up your business. Many factors will influence this decision, such as the exact nature of your activities, what federal or regional incentives may apply to your company, the need for logistical and transport hubs, the need to find qualified personnel, etc. And once again, it is important to decide in advance if you will make this choice alone or in concert with a partner familiar with local regulation, culture, business habits and recruitment.

What is one emerging trend in the business/regulatory environment which you would advise companies in or entering Belgium to be particularly proactive about?

Efforts continue apace to encourage entrepreneurship and attract foreign investors or companies. This is done in various ways, for instance by reducing or streamlining regulation, installing specific and advantageous tax systems, providing well-situated infrastructure and office space, investing in high-quality and internationally-oriented education, etc. All of these measures are intended to make it easier for your company to enter the Belgian market, but it will take some time and research to familiarize yourself with them.

Additionally, a great many aids and grants are available from federal and local authorities. We advise you to contact one of the dedicated investment agencies, such as the Brussels Enterprise Agency (BEA), Flanders Investment & Trade or the Office for Foreign Investors (OFI) in Wallonia , who will be more than happy to tell you which aids or incentives apply to your company.

Why is it important for new entrants in Belgium to speak with you

Most importantly, for a seamless continuation of service.  Thanks to BNP Paribas Fortis being part of a global group, both your mother company and your Belgian activities can work with a single bank and enjoy the same service offer. Put more concretely, your relationship manager in Belgium will be in contact with the British BNP Paribas team, allowing for a better understanding of your specific needs, central reporting and an effective service level.

Through us, you also have access to an extensive offering of digital banking services and innovative solutions covering all your banking and financing needs, including international cash management, global trade solutions, factoring, fleet management, expat services, etc. Wherever you decide to establish your subsidiary in Belgium, you will receive a dedicated relationship manager from a central corporate bankers team in Brussels or from one of 16 local business centres.

Last but not least, we are quite experienced in servicing Belgian subsidiaries of foreign groups, which explains why over 3,300 foreign groups have chosen us as their bank in Belgium.

If you’d like to organise a meeting with any of our Accredited Service Providers, or are interested in becoming one, get in touch with James Pearson – our Business & Trade Executive at james.pearson@britishchamber.be

Olivier & Mandy

2015 was a busy year for the Business Development Committee! Our Chair, Olivier Van Horenbeeck tells us what’s next for 2016 and how they plan to build on a great 2015.

To write that the chamber’s Business Development Committee grew and developed immensely in 2015 would be an understatement. The group successfully delivered 40 events in 2015, compared to 12 Business and Trade events the year before. So to give you a preview of what’s in store for members of the chamber in 2016, it only makes sense to first take a look at what went on in 2015.

The past year saw the introduction of three brand new initiatives under the Business Development Committee: Diversity Dialogues, Business Trainings, and the Strategic Business series, each of which are being continued and developed further in 2016.

Our Strategic Business Themes offers high-level briefings and debates on topics such as innovation in high value manufacturing, the development of future cities, the rising inequality in Europe, the advancements of the digital economy, and the implications of the upcoming UK referendum on business. We also revisited these topics during our first annual London Visit, where we met Lord Mandelson and Kenneth Clarke amongst many other key influencers and decision-makers on the UK’s political and commercial scene. Make sure you don’t miss the second edition this year!

Peter Mandelson

The Strategic Business Themes perfectly complements our ongoing Ambassador Hosts series, where we in 2015 had the pleasure of hearing from regional Minister Presidents Magnette and Bourgeois, respectively, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Jan Jambon. With the outstanding support of Ambassador Rose continuing in 2016, we are expecting to welcome further high-level Belgian decision-makers to the chamber, and a date for Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peeters has already been confirmed.

The Business Trainings were introduced as a programme of interactive half-day courses with clear learning objectives, covering various soft and hard skills topics under leadership development, business administration, and communication skills. The initiative, led by Maria Laptev, and its ‘by members, for members’ approach has been very well received, and with an already full schedule lined up for this spring semester, we are now planning ahead for the autumn calendar.

Andriani Ferti

Diversity Dialogues was launched in October at a very well-attended discussion and networking session, and with the feedback from that gathering we now have a framework for a first full year of Diversity Dialogues, with an event expected to take place at least once a quarter. Read more here from Rosie Halfhead, Chair of our Diversity Dialogues Working Group, about what’s in the making.

There were many new Business & Trade initiatives in 2015, but also a consistent delivery of high-quality seminars by our existing Tax, Finance & Legal Task Force under the chairmanship of Marc Quaghebeur. In 2016, you can look forward to sessions on the practical business implications of new legislation such as the Belgian tax shift, data privacy law, social security reductions, pensions for the self-employed, and much more. We are also looking at offering a 4th edition of our annual Expat Financial Affairs conference, this time in a slightly revamped format.

EFA

Last, but certainly not least, we are looking to further boost the chamber’s Trade & Investment activities, which are supported by Glynis Whiting. These include our existing Accredited Service Providers programme and annual Golden Bridge Trade & Export Awards, as well as new initiatives to facilitate bilateral trade and be the essential support network for UK exporters and investors into Belgium. We will also look to link some of our activities across the Business & Trade streams more closely with each other, for instance by combining our 2nd annual London Visit with the Golden Bridge Awards Gala in November.

As Chair of the Business Development Committee, I am looking very much forward to continuing all our great work in the year to come, and I hope to meet you and your colleagues at our upcoming events.

Thank you to James Pearson from the British Chamber team for contributing to this article.

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