Overview about the current Domestic Dustoms Agency guidelines on Brexit

The Withdrawal Agreement will not be ratified before 30 March 2019, hence most of the legal effects of Brexit will not apply as of 1 January 2021, i.e. after a transition period of 21 months, the terms of which are set out in the draft Withdrawal Agreement. 

In the absence of a Withdrawal Agreement, there will be no transition period and EU law will no longer apply to and in the UK as of 30 March 2019. 

Those who plan to travel between the UK and the EU27 after Brexit, as well as businesses trading in goods or providing services into and from the UK, should start preparing for the UK’s withdrawal, if they have not yet done so. 

Border Checks – Post-Brexit, UK nationals will no longer enjoy the facilitations provided for EU/EEA/CH citizens at the outer borders of the EU – and will not be entitled to use the separate EU/EEA/CH lanes. Persons travelling into the EU will be subject to additional 

verifications concerning, for instance, duration and purpose of stay. 

UK citizens will need travel documents with a validity of no more than ten years, and valid for at least three months after intended departure from the EU. 

The European Commission has proposed to the EU legislator to exempt UK nationals from visa requirements for shortterm stays. 

VAT and excise – There are limits to the quantities of products (in particular tobacco products and alcoholic beverages) that can be imported into the EU free of customs duties, VAT and excise duties post-Brexit. 

Import into the EU of certain goods will be restricted or prohibited: for example products of animal origin (such as meat, milk, ham, cheese), cash over € 10,000, certain cultural goods, plants, plant products, or certain animals. 

Luggage may be subject to customs checks when entering the EU from the UK. 

Visitors from the UK will be entitled to a VAT refund on departure from the EU.
Non-EU citizens can get refund of VAT when leaving EU trough United Kingdom.
Visitors from outside the EU are entitled to get a refund of VAT paid on goods they have purchased during their stay in the EU provided that the goods are presented to customs on departure from the EU together with the VAT refund documents.
Travellers entering the EU from the United Kingdom carrying goods in their luggage or otherwise are entitled to duty free allowances (meaning goods exempt from import duty and VAT, and where applicable excise duty).
The goods concerned and the corresponding allowances can be found at: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/individuals/travelling/entering-eu_en
In addition, the Customs Agency will set up a BREXITZONE in each of the main airports where travellers can ask for assistance. In the BREXITZONE, travellers will also find sample brochures containing guidelines on the new customs requirements for travellers to and from Great Britain.
Driving – Post-Brexit, the mutual recognition system of driving licences between Member States no longer applies to the UK.
Holders of a UK driving licence should verify with the relevant EU Member State whether an additional “international driving permit” is required.
People using a private vehicle registered in the UK are advised to check if their insurance covers both the EU and the UK after withdrawal. A “green card” may be required.
Health treatment – Post-Brexit, access to healthcare in the EU will no longer be possible on the basis of a UK European Health Insurance card, and vice-versa.
People are advised to verify conditions for reimbursement of emergency medical expenses in third countries and consider taking out private travel insurance.
Passenger rights – EU passenger rights to information, reimbursement, re-routing or compensation in case of delays and cancellations may no longer apply to UK flights and carriers, as well as ship, bus, coach and rail travels, depending on the point of departure and arrival and the country where the carrier is licensed.
Roaming – Providers of mobile communication services – voice calls, SMS or data – will no longer be bound by EU roaming rules when operating in the UK. This means they may apply surcharges to UK customers using roaming services in the EU, and EU travellers using roaming services in the UK.
Embassies and Consulates – EU citizens will no longer be entitled to turn to UK embassies and consulates to seek consular protection in a third country (and vice-versa).
Customs – With Brexit, the United Kingdom will exit the European Union also as far as customs matters are concerned.
The United Kingdom has activated the exit procedure pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty and in case of no transitional agreement (Hard Brexit) the United Kingdom will exit the Union from 00.00 on 30 March 2019.
Is there an agreement for a transition period? – An exit agreement with a transitional period, which would have allowed the United Kingdom to continue to benefit from the acquis communautaire until 31 December 2020 was reached on 13 November 2018, but it was rejected by the English Parliament on 15 January 2019.
When will we know about the Brexit? – At the moment we have no certainty, the debate is still very heated in the UK. Currently we may foresee three scenarios:
  • Great Britain asks for a postponement of the deadline of 29 March 2019, pursuant to Article 50, in order to have time to reach a new agreement or call new elections or a new referendum.
  • Great Britain withdraws its request to exit the EU.
  • Britain becomes a third country by midnight on 29 March 2019 without any agreement.
What would happen if no transitional arrangement is reached? If no agreement is reached, there would be no transition period and all consequences related to the UK’s new status would be applied already starting from 30 March 2019.
In particular, this would mean that traders should reintroduce both customs (import/export and transit declarations) and non-customs obligations and procedures (sanitary and phytosanitary controls).
Commerce and Trade FAQs – I am an EU business man. In case of Hard Brexit how will my business with the United Kingdom change after 29 March 2019?

In commercial transactions, the same rules, including customs procedures, applied to non-EU third countries will apply to the United Kingdom. 

Operators exporting to the United Kingdom which do not usually make customs operations may go to the competent local customs office where specific support teams will be set up to minimize the impact of BREXIT on the economic fabric of the country. 

In case of Hard Brexit, if I want to carry out my customs procedures for goods coming from the United Kingdom in the customs office nearest to my company, what should I do? 

The United Kingdom expressed its wish to join the common transit Convention, once the exit procedures from the EU will have been completed. 

Such Convention represents the legal base of the transit system both for the European Union and for some neighbouring countries, such as Switzerland. 

The date of entry into force of the current Convention’s provisions with the United Kingdom is not known at present. 

However, the European Commission is working in order to reach an arrangement as soon as possible. 

I am an exporter of alcohol products to the United Kingdom. What should I do after 29 March 2019? 

In the absence of an agreement between the parties, the transfer of alcoholic products from Italy to the United Kingdom will be considered as an export of excise goods from the territory of the European Union. 

In case of excisable products under duty suspension sent by road, for example, the export procedure applies, which provides for the transmission of the customs declaration by the economic operator to the customs office of export. 

The export operation and the circulation under suspensive regime (with the issue of e-Cajola & Associati Law offices – founded in 1966 

AD) from the national tax warehouse to the place from which the products leave the EU territory are completed with the exit visa of the customs office of exit and the issue of the report of export by the customs office of export. 

I am an Authorized Economic Operator. What will change as of 30 March 2019? 

AEOs, depending on the type of authorization obtained, will continue to enjoy favorable treatment throughout the EU, in accordance with the relevant EU programme. 

Only AEO transactions to the UK will be considered as imports/exports, while those to other Member States will continue to be considered as intra-Community transactions. 

If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without an agreement, authorizations obtained in the United Kingdom will no longer be valid, at least until a specific Mutual Recognition Agreement is signed. 

Obviously, this also applies to operators who have been granted an authorization in Italy but also operate in Great Britain. 

In case of Hard Brexit, what will happen to applications for customs protection of intellectual property rights and the related decisions granting them by the United Kingdom as of March 30th 2019? 

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union will also have an impact on customs action to protect intellectual property rights. 

Indeed, from 30 March 2019 it will no longer be possible to submit applications for action to the competent department of the United Kingdom Customs Administration. 

Likewise, the decisions granting applications issued by the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the other EU countries. 

Applications for action and decisions granting EU applications submitted in other Member States will remain valid in the country of submission and in all other countries except the UK. More information is available on DGTAXUD website 

What should I do in case of doubts on customs procedures related to Brexit? 

The Customs Agency website includes specific information on customs clearance, transit, controls with third countries and customs simplification procedures. It is also possible to: 

Ask questions and request assistance by writing to infobrexit@adm.gov.it

Obtain general information on the application of customs legislation, excise duties and export refunds through the telematic URP service (Office for Relations with the Public), using the procedure described on the Agency’s website at the following link: https://www.adm.gov.it/portale/lagenzia/contatta-lagenzia/area-dogane/urp-telematico 

In case of detailed questions concerning specific customs operations, it is possible to contact the local customs offices competent for these operations directly by consulting the Agency’s website. 

Cajola & Associati 
Via G. Rossini, 5 
20122 Milan – Italy 
Phone: +390276003305
Fax: +3902780177 
E-mail: law@cajola.com 
Web site : www.cajola.com 

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