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Article:

Key points to note for importers and exporters

17 December 2020

Carol Lynch, Partner, BDO Customs and International Trade Services featured in The Irish Farmers Journal and answered some pressing questions regarding importing and exporting livestock and machinery within the agribusiness and food sector.

Livestock

Will there be any additional restrictions on the flow of over 400,000 sheep from farm in Northern Ireland coming south for direct slaughter in southern factories?

  • No, NI will apply the rules of the EU customs union so there will be no change.

Over 40,000 sheep are imported south for further feeding. Will these be faced with increased checks or restrictions?

  • Sheep coming from NI to the Republic of Ireland (ROI) will not be subject to increased checks or restrictions as NI is part of the EU customs union under the NI Protocol.
  • However, sheep imported on a permanent basis from Britain from 1 January 2021 will be subject to customs and phytosanitory checks by the Department of Agriculture as live animal imports.
  • The importer will need to have an EORI and be registered on the Department’s Traces NT system.
  • The importer will need to submit customs documentation.
  • The importer will have to pay any customs duties due if there is no trade agreement and/or the sheep don’t qualify as originating in the EU.
  • The importer will need to account for import VAT.
  • The importer will need the required UK health cert.
  • The importer will be responsible for managing all the paperwork to be lodged with the Irish authorities.
  • Assuming the importer will use the services of a customs agent, they must provide the agent with the appropriate commodity code for the sheep along with a value for custom purposes. Revenue will want to see an invoice or pro-forma invoice as proof of the value of the goods

Machinery

I want to buy a used Massey from England. Can I do that after 1 January?

  • Yes it is possible to buy a tractor from 1 January 2021 from Britain. However, this will be subject to customs documentation.
  • It will also be subject to customs duties if there is no trade agreement and/or will need to prove it qualifies as being of UK origin if there is a trade deal and duties are to be avoided.
  • The importer will need to account for any import VAT on arrival to Ireland.
  • The importer will be responsible for managing all the paperwork to be lodged with the Irish authorities.
  • Assuming the importer will use a customs agent, they must provide the agent with the appropriate  commodity code for the tractor and valuation for the goods being imported. Revenue will want to see an invoice or proforma invoice as proof of the value of the goods
  • A used tractor is considered a regulated plant product when imported from non-EU country, which the UK will be from 1 January 2021. The requirements from the Department are as follows:
    • Secondhand machinery is required to be clean and free of soil or plant debris.
    • A phytosanitary certificate is required and will be provided by the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) of the exporting country.
    • Together with the completion of the Part 1 of the CHED-PP and notification and submission of all documents 24 hours before arrival of the consignment.
    • Secondhand machinery will be subject to physical checks upon arrival.
  • All vehicles including tractors that are brought into Ireland are subject to vehicle registration tax (VRT).
  • At a high level, from 1 January 2021 when an Irish VAT-registered entity purchases a tractor in the UK, UK VAT at 0% should be charged where the supplier exports the tractor from the UK to the customer in Ireland. You would need to be VAT-registered in the UK if purchasing on an ex-works basis.
  • Irish import VAT will be payable in Ireland (VAT will likely be postponed to the Irish VAT return and will be accounted for on the reverse charge basis).

When the UK becomes a third country post-Brexit, will there be a tariff placed on imported tractors from Britain? If so, how much will this cost?

  • If no trade deal is agreed, WTO custom duties will apply. Tractors with agricultural use would appear to attract 0% duty (CN codes 8701 91 10, 8701 92 10, 8701 93 10, 8701 94 10, 8701 95 10 depending on power of tractor and specific use).

If importing from Britain to NI, will this tariff occur? And what about if importing from NI to ROI, will I be liable to a tariff?

  • Goods imported from Britain to NI should not be subject to tariff. However, the goods/ tractor must remain in NI (subject to rules from the joint committee).
  • Goods moving from NI to ROI will not be subject to tariffs provided they don’t move from Britain to NI first and then into ROI.
  • Vehicles being registered in ROI are subject to VRT.

Will this be the case for tractor parts coming from the UK to Ireland and will the tariff be the same rate?

  • If there is no trade deal then WTO tariffs will apply. Parts for tractors (classified under CN heading 8708) will attract tariffs in the range 3.0-4.5%
  • If there is a trade agreement then there will need to be proof of origin for the parts to reduce the duty rate to 0%.

Speak to a member of our BDO Brexit Taskforce who can provide practical Brexit advice for your business.


Alternatively

Declaron is the new specialist customs clearance service launched by BDO and Fexco.

Do you need a customs clearance agent?

Visit www.declaron.ie


Content adapted from The Irish Farmers Journal