The National Audit Office has stated that HMRC has accelerated work on its contingency plans for handling customs declarations in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit next March.
The NAO said that if this work was successfully completed, HMRC would have the system capacity to handle customs declarations no matter what the outcome of exit negotiations between the UK and the EU; ie HMRC would be in a position to handle a "no deal" Brexit.
However, the NAO also stated that significant challenges remain and the success of wider customs preparations would involve many other dependent systems and processes at the border.
Civil Service World reports that auditors found HMRC has started to engage with 150,000 traders that import and export goods outside of the EU, but has not yet started the same communications with the at least 145,000 EU-only traders who may need to make customs declarations after March 2019, dependent on the EU exit deal.
Time and the outcome of the Brexit negotiations will tell if HMRC is up to the challenge!
Tax does have to be taxing.
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