July 2021 / United Kingdom

8 Luglio 2021

Helping businesses to prepare for full Customs Control in January 2022

HM Revenue and Customs is encouraging UK businesses to prepare for customs changes which will be introduced over the coming 6 months.  

More than 160,000 businesses will be receiving a letter from HMRC over the next week, explaining the steps they should take to ensure they can continue trading with the EU.

These include:

  • making supplementary declarations
  • appointing a customs intermediary
  • Export Health Certificate requirements

Making supplementary declarations

Businesses already importing goods using delayed declarations should get ready now to have everything in place to make supplementary declarations on time. Traders need to decide whether to make their own declarations or get a customs intermediary to do it for them.

Traders using the delayed declarations process have 175 calendar days from the date of import from the EU, to make the supplementary declaration. They need to apply for a duty deferment account (DDA) and authorisation to use simplified declaration procedures now, if they have not already.

Appointing a customs intermediary

Businesses can find information online about how to get an expert to deal with customs paperwork for them, as well as an up-to-date list of customs intermediaries that can help them.

Export Health Certificate requirements

From 1 October 2021, all products of animal origin, certain animal by-products and high-risk food not of animal origin will require pre-notification. Also, from this date, if traders haven’t made a full customs declaration for an exports consignment, their haulier or carrier will need to submit a standalone exit summary declaration providing safety and security information.

Further support and guidance

HMRC will also be contacting customers over the coming months with further details on what they need to do to prepare for the introduction of full customs declarations, from 1 January 2022.

Sophie Dean and Katherine Green, Directors General, Borders and Trade, HMRC, said:

We know how challenging it is to get used to so many changes, and we appreciate how much that UK businesses have done already.

HMRC is here to help people adapt to the adjustments, and over the next few months we will carry on reaching out to businesses to help them get the right support and guidance to continue trading with the EU.

Customers can read step-by-step guidance on:

29 Luglio 2021

IP at the heart of new innovation strategy

The UK government’s innovation strategy sets out how the UK aims to be a global leader in innovation and a strong intellectual property system will be key to make that happen.   Innovation is critical in tackling the UK’s biggest challenges, including achieving Net Zero, levelling up growth across the country, achieving our ambitions as a global trading nation and economic recovery from the Covid pandemic.

IP will play a central role in creating the right environment to meet these challenges. An effective IP system gives confidence to businesses, creators and investors that ideas will be protected and they can get a return for their work.

The Strategy outlines how IP will address its four pillars of unleashing business, supporting people and skills, serving the needs of institutions and places and stimulating missions and technologies. Specifically, the IPO will:

  • launch a new ‘IP Access’ fund that will help businesses to grow and to build back better from the Covid pandemic. Building on the already successful IP audit plus programme, this new scheme will support businesses to manage and commercialise their IP so that they can use the value within their IP assets to grow their business
  • launch a new, free, fit for purpose support offer for businesses and organisations to make the most of their IP in overseas markets. The service will consist of easy to access, ‘self-serve’, online materials and clearer routes to access the UK’s network of IP experts based in key export markets around the world
  • extend its education programme to reach more higher education-based researchers during the next academic year. This will help them better understand and manage the IP they create and generate the maximum benefit from their research

In addition, the IPO will consult a number of issues to strengthen the UK’s IP system, and in the Autumn it will consult on the protection of inventions and creations made by artificial intelligence (AI) with minimal human input. Following its 2020 call for views the IPO will look at options to address whether patents should be granted to inventions, and copyright should apply to creative works, created by AI.

The IPO will also lead a call for views to better understand how the current framework for Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) is functioning to support innovation, and to establish whether change is needed.

The IPO set out in its Corporate Plan a programme of work that will support the government’s focus on innovation including developing an IP & Innovation Passport and an IP in Finance strategy alongside a framework linking IP to stages in the business lifecycle. It will also publish a Places Strategy and along with existing regional posts that will support the levelling up agenda.

The IPO’s Chief Executive Tim Moss said:

Innovation is critical in tackling the UK’s biggest challenges both now and in the future.

The UK’s new Innovation Strategy is the starting point for the government’s long-term vision of how we will cement our role as global leaders in innovation and deliver the target of R&D investment at 2.4% of GDP - and it has IP running through the heart of it. The strategy recognises that a strong IP system, that protects and allows for a return on investment on ideas, creates the confidence on which this success is built.

We know that innovation is the engine of the modern economy and we’re proud of the contribution we’re making to drive that forward.

6 Luglio 2021

United Kingdom Publishes Updated Rules on Extended Loss Carry-Back

On 5 July 2021, the United Kingdom updated its guidance note on the rules for making extended loss carry-back claims for companies and unincorporated businesses, as well as the procedure for making such claims.

The updated guidance includes information on the preferred method for making a de minimis claim. While extended loss carry-back claims will be required to be made in a tax return, claims below a de minimis limit of GBP 200,000 may be made outside a tax return, i.e. any stand-alone or group company with losses capable of providing relief up to a maximum of GBP 200,000 may make a claim in respect of a relevant accounting period without having to wait to submit the company's tax return.

Companies that want to make a de minimis claim outside the company's tax return can send a claim submission to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for which they will need to provide relevant information, such as the unique taxpayer reference (UTR) number, the company name, the agent code (if applicable), start and end dates of the loss-making accounting period, the amount of loss, the dates of accounting periods to carry the loss back to and the relevant amounts and management accounts in PDF format, if a tax return has not been completed for the loss-making accounting period.

Note: The guidance note on extended loss carry back was first published on 3 March 2021, following the UK Government's proposal to introduce legislation as part of Finance Bill 2021 to provide a temporary extension to the loss carry back rules for trading losses of both corporate and unincorporated businesses. In particular, while the current rules allow trading losses to be carried back one year without restriction, for accounting periods ending between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2022, this will be extended to three years, with losses required to be set against profits of most recent years first before carry back to earlier years.