Planning 
for Brexit 

Relocating Your Activities to the Netherlands

While Brexit lies on the horizon, The Netherlands is considered a safe haven for British companies that trade with the mainland.

In this article, we will address important considerations for British companies, who are planning to establish a company in The Netherlands, in order to ensure that their business will not be affected by Brexit.

How to Deal With Import and Export After Brexit

If you are a British company that regularly imports goods into the EU, and sells goods to the EU, it might make sense to reconsider your logistics process. Although many British companies now import goods to the UK, and ship them to the mainland for distribution, after Brexit it might be more cost-efficient* to import the goods to a logistics centre in The Netherlands.

*Shipping fees from the UK to the mainland are expected to increase, and the importing formalities via the UK will increase your expenses, as well as influence the liquidity of your company (in case you need to pay up import VAT or duties in advance). Shipping fees from the UK to the mainland are expected to increase, and the importing formalities via the UK will increase your expenses.

How to Deal With Import Duties in The Netherlands

After the Brexit, new customs formalities will be in place for British companies. So if you do decide to import goods to the EU, this means you will have to deal with custom agencies. In order to deal with any European customs departments, your company is likely to require an EORI number. If you do not have an EORI number, please inform us accordingly so we can assist you with the application.

 

On average it takes about 1 to 2 weeks to obtain an EORI number for a non-EU company. We can also advise you whether it would be advantageous to establish a branch in The Netherlands, and/or apply for a VAT number. When you trade with the UK, you will need to file declarations in the customs systems. Be sure to be able to declare goods at the Customs. Register at a Customs agent or acquire the needed software to do it yourself.

After Brexit, the UK customs formalities have to be completed The UK government has issued a publication about Brexit, where you can read which preparations can be taken to deal with the UK after Brexit

How to deal with VAT in The Netherlands

After Brexit, the United Kingdom will be considered a non-EU country. Goods exported to and imported from the UK will be under the supervision of the Customs.

This means you will need to declare your goods when trading with the UK and possibly pay import duties. If you have an Article 23 Authorization (the reverse-charge mechanism), you do not have to pay the VAT at the customs. Please note that if you would like to make use of the reverse-charge mechanism, We will have to apply for the Article 23 exemption, please let us know if you would like to use our assistance for this application.

It takes about 2 weeks to apply for a VAT number as a non-resident company in The Netherlands. In order to apply for the Article 23 exemption, it will be required to have a physical location in The Netherlands. The application of the art. 23 exemption can take up to 8 weeks.

If you have an Article 23 Authorization (the reverse-charge mechanism), you do not have to pay the VAT at the customs.

Conclusion

In order to import goods after Brexit through Dutch seaports, the required customs papers have to be filed digitally through Portbase.

Be sure to be able to declare goods at the Customs. Register at a Customs agent or acquire the needed software to do it yourself.

Take these steps in preparation

  1. Be sure to have an EORI number. This is an identification number that is used to deal with the Customs.

  2. Be sure to be able to declare goods at the Customs. Register at a Customs agent or acquire the needed software to do it yourself.

  3. Request a "Registratie Elektronisch Berichtenverkeer" when you decide to declare goods by yourself.

  4. Optional, register for the Article 23 exemption

 

More information can be found at brexitloket.nl or douane.nl/brexit (both only Dutch) and on https://www.getreadyforbrexit.eu/en/ (English).

Consequently, if you require any assistance with the EORI number and application for Art.23, please let us know.

We hope to have informed you sufficiently. If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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