Scottish companies which import goods into the UK or EU are being urged to prepare themselves for new customs duty arrangements which come into force next year.
The prompt comes from professional services specialist Baker Tilly, which is warning that, from 1 May 2016, the current regime will be replaced by the new European Union Customs Code.
According to the firm, all importers can expect the following changes:
an increase in the financial guarantee required;
the absence of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) accreditation may result in additional cost;
duty liability of royalty payments;
customs valuation changes.
Jim Burberry, head of indirect taxes at Baker Tilly in Scotland said: “All importers in Scotland need to take action now to identify key areas of uncertainty and to consider potential risks and opportunities.
“Some importers will find they will need to change the way they manage their supply chain. Others will find they will need to obtain Authorised Economic Operator authorisation.
“Careful preparation is required as our recent experiences have highlighted the significant impact on margins that any mistakes in customs duty can have on a business. This can be from incorrect valuations on products leading to a deficit of duty being paid to reliefs for rejected or returned goods not being appropriately claimed.
“Many businesses successfully use import agencies to clear goods. However, whilst diligent, the speed of clearance is usually a priority and if any customs duty is due, responsibility lies with the business. It is therefore important to review your arrangements to ensure you accurately account for customs duty.”