Spain’s version of the UK's Inland Revenue on Friday began reaching out to Spanish companies exporting everything from meat to medicine to the United Kingdom, laying out the contingency plan if Britain were to crash out of the EU without a deal on October 31.
“From the customs point of view, the new formalities include the presentation of a customs declaration for each shipment, the carrying out of customs controls, the payment of customs duties and other charges, or the need to obtain sanitary, phytosanitary, or other certifications,” reads Hacienda’s letter.
Spain’s Agencia Tributaria, as Hacienda is also known, has along with other measures reinstated the need for the Spanish companies in question to have a EORI number (European Union registration and ID for the import/export of goods into or out of the EU) as a means of keeping their export business working.
A plan is already in place to increase the amount of personnel at airports and ports across Spain to deal with potential holdups at custom points.
Even though the chances of the UK crashing out on October 31st have been somewhat diminished by the UK Parliament’s recent vote to block a no-deal, Spanish tax authorities have stuck by the EU’s stance that Britain will be given no “preferential treatment” without an agreement, at least in terms of the customs union.
“With regard to VAT, your shipments to the United Kingdom will be exempt as exports and the export customs declaration will be one of the means of proof admitted for the purpose of justifying said exemption,” reads the letter.
“On the other hand, your imports from the United Kingdom will be subject to VAT payment.
Gibraltar is perhaps the most contentious issue for Spain in the event of a no-deal Brexit, with mounting concern over the management of its border separating it from “The Rock”.
Contingency plans drawn up in March included the option of easing the transportation of goods between Spain and Gibraltar in trucks owned by Gibraltar-based companies, conditions which are still dependent on a “reciprocal agreement” for Spanish businesses going into the British Overseas Territory.