EU Commission - Impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in the area of customs and taxation

The Commission has launched a web page that provides information about the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in the area of customs and taxation. The page notes that unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date, the UK will become a 'third country' as of 30 March 2019, 00:00h (CET) in relation to the remaining EU countries.

The page contains a number of links to previous documents, including the Commission’s Position Paper on customs related matters needed for an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the Union. The page notes that preparing for the UK’s withdrawal is not just a matter for EU and national authorities, but also for companies and individuals trading with the UK. In terms of new items these include a Notice intended to give more information on the consequences of the withdrawal. These include:

• Authorisations granting the status of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) and other authorisations for customs simplifications, issued by the customs authorities of the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the customs territory of the Union.

• Goods originating in the UK that are incorporated in goods exported from the EU to third countries will no longer qualify as "EU content" for the purpose of the EU's Common Commercial Policy. This affects the ability of EU exporters to combine with goods originating in the UK and may affect the applicability of preferential tariffs agreed by the Union with third countries.

• Taxable persons wishing to use one of the special schemes of Chapter 6 of Title XII of the VAT Directive (the so-called Mini One-Stop Shop or MOSS), who supply telecommunications services, broadcasting services or electronic services to non-taxable persons in the EU, will have to be registered for the MOSS in a Member State of the EU.

• Taxable persons established in the UK purchasing goods and services or importing goods subject to VAT in an EU Member State of the EU who wish to claim a refund of that VAT may no longer file claims electronically in accordance with Council Directive 2008/9 but will have to use the 13th Directive and Member States may make refunds subject to reciprocity conditions.

• A company established in the UK carrying out taxable transactions in a Member State of the EU may be required by that Member State to designate a tax representative as the person liable for payment of the VAT.

To access the website click here.



This is a mixture of setting out the more obvious consequences of Brexit, as well as preparing for the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario. For example, it is expected that in the case of a ‘deal’ being agreed and an enhanced transitional period, part of that future agreement will include some sort of mutual recognition of AEO.