Here at PJCO, we are always looking at ways to improve our client’s businesses, save them unnecessary costs and headaches and of course improve profits. We have teamed up with Trade Flow Customs Consultancy Ltd and believe that we are one of the first Brighton Accountants to be able to offer a complete VAT and Import Duty review for Import Businesses in Sussex.

Calculating Import Duty and choosing the correct tariff codes can be daunting for any Import business, particularly smaller importers or those businesses new to importing. Many importers simply leave this to their Freight Forwarders; however we believe we have a better option and on top of this, it is COMPLETELY FREE *

This service, normally only available to larger Importers is offered via an independent consultancy, Trade Flow Customs Consultancy Ltd, who have many years of experience reducing the cost of Importing for the client and dealing with HMRC over Import Duty.

They now offer a FREE Review service* for any import business in the Gatwick Diamond area including businesses in Brighton, Crawley and Worthing.

Trade Flow Consultancy is dedicated to reducing clients’ importation costs through the minimisation of import duty payments and RECOVERY of previously OVERPAID IMPORT DUTY on a NO WIN NO FEE basis whilst ensuring your business remains LEGALLY COMPLIANT.

“Keeping Trade flowing compliantly, efficiently and at the lowest cost”

What the Service offers:

An independent customs consultancy on your side dedicated to reducing your importation costs through the minimisation of import duty payments and recovery of overpaid import duty whilst ensuring legal compliance.

Services include:

  • Customs “Opportunity and Optimisation Reviews” on a “no win no fee” basis *
  • Compliance reviews and ongoing third-party auditing
  • Assistance with HMRC International Trade audits, helpline advice and information services
  • Obtaining Advance Tariff Rulings and Tariff Code Reviews
  • Obtaining Advance Origin Rulings and Rules of Origin Reviews
  • Reviews and Appeals of Customs Decisions and Assessments
  • Customs Procedures, Duty Suspensions and AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) assistance.
  • Customs import/export Training

For further information or call 01273 441187
*Minimum Import Duty spend of £300,000 per annum normally required for FREE review service.

Do you want a bit more information ?…

  • Customs “Opportunity and Optimisation Reviews”.

Our Opportunity and Optimisation Reviews allow us to understand your international supply chain and provide recommendations to reduce and potentially recover overpaid import duty and other levies. Reviews cover classification, origin trade preferences, valuation and customs procedures.

These popular reviews can often be undertaken on a completely contingent or “no win no fee” basis. Furthermore, where reclaims are possible we undertake the research /put together any reclaims, submit these to the Customs authority for their approval with almost no client input. We then liaise with the customs authorities should they have any questions.

  • Compliance Reviews and Ongoing Third Party Auditing.

Compliance is equally important to our clients and we can also conduct compliance reviews alongside our Opportunity and Optimisation Reviews ensuring there is no under-declaration of duty and working with you to put things right.

We can also provide a review of your company’s import process and procedures.

In the UK we also offer a quarterly and annual audit of your import entry data.

  • Assistance with HMRC International Trade Audits, Helpline Advice and Information Services.

We offer a range of advice, assistance and helpline packages which can be on a retainer or “one-off ” basis. Whether you are an importer who has the need for occasional or regular Duty advice, or a Legal or Accountancy practice which wants to have an expert duty resource at your disposal, we have a service to suit you. As a subscriber to any of our retainer services, you will also receive mail-outs advising you of changes in Customs legislation that may affect your business.

An HMRC International Trade visit can be daunting for any business – don’t worry help is at hand – hit the button for us to contact you.

  • Advance Tariff Rulings (AtaR), Advance Origin Rulings (AOR) and Rules of Origin / Tariff Code Reviews.

The Customs authorities of many countries around the World will provide binding rulings or binding letters establishing the legally binding classification of a product prior to import. These rulings usually last for a number of years and are binding on the importer and Customs authorities. The UK AtaR is valid for 3 years.

Trade Flow can also obtain Binding Rulings for clients in the EU, US and Switzerland. If the good is complex and /or several tariff codes could potentially apply it is important to make a good case for a binding ruling justifying one’s proposed tariff code. We use the rules of classification, binding rulings already in force, legal and regulation precedent and applicable Explanatory Notes such as the HSEN and CNEN to put together a ruling for clients.

Where clients have many tariff codes in use, binding rulings would not be practical and we can provide a review of import classifications based on our extensive classification experience. Where companies operate in a number of jurisdictions there can often be quite different classifications applied locally. We can help align such databases.

  • Reviews and Appeals of Customs Decisions and Assessments.

Whenever HMRC gives a decision or issues an assessment you almost always have the right to appeal. Whether the decision is the classification of your product set out in a BTI (Binding Tariff Ruling) or a Post Clearance Demand Note (C18) we can help draft a letter of review or provide assistance with a First Tier Tribunal.

  • Customs Procedures, Duty Suspensions and AEO.

In a supply chain, however complex, import duty should only be paid once and even then importers can potentially legally delay, reduce or remove liability for import duty.

Customs Procedures are essential to ensure duty is only paid once in a supply chain:

  • Customs Warehousing
  • IP (Inward Processing Relief)
  • OP (Outward Processing Relief)
  • PCC (Processing under Customs Control)

Duty Suspensions can potentially provide duty-free access for your raw materials not available in the UK and we can help with applications.

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

This “badge” allows businesses to show that they meet certain standards of Customs competence and security and beneficial in applying for Customs procedures above. Talk to us about what help we can provide at all stages of feasibility, application process, implementation and on-going management as required.

  • Customs import/export training.

Training for members of the finance team, NPD team, buyers and customs/logistics teams can be provided specifically tailored to your products, procedures and issues. Many parts of your business could benefit from knowing the duty rate implications of often simple design changes or choice of source country.

If this is of interest to you or your business then please hit the tab and we will contact you straight back. Alternatively call 01273 441187


International Goods

  • From 1st January 2021 goods entering the UK will be an import and postponed accounting will be introduced for worldwide imports.

  • This will be better for cash flow as it will mean that VAT is not payable by a VAT registered business at the time goods arrive in the UK.

  • This will mean there will be changes to the way the UK importer completes the boxes on the VAT return.

  • The UK importer must account for postponed import VAT on the return for the VAT quarter which covers the date the goods were imported.

  • The UK importer will need details of the imports to be included in the VAT return – this will include copies of your monthly postponed import VAT statement when it is available.

  • Customs duty will be payable at the point of entry. The UK importer should consider if they appoint a freight agent to deal with formalities.

If you need more advice on how your business needs to trade with the EU, please get in contact with us.


Abbie Lisney PJCO Peter Jarman
Abbie Lisney

Check out our related blog: Cross border VAT- Goods leaving the UK

International goods

  • From 1st January 2021, all goods leaving the UK will be a zero-rated export.
  • If you use QuickBooks to keep your records, the VAT code to use is 0.00% Z – Zero rate VAT.
  • It is expected that the customer will be the importer of record in the destination country and therefore the customer must deal with the import formalities in their own country (VAT/duty/entry declarations). This is the best route for UK clients.
  • Some EU customers are insisting that the goods are delivered duty paid (DDP) – this will mean that the UK supplier becomes the importer of record.

What does it mean if the UK supplier becomes the importer of record?

  • The UK supplier will need to be VAT registered in the destination country so that they can deal with the import formalities.
  • The UK supplier will need to submit a VAT registration request in the destination state and prepare VAT returns in that member state going forward.
  • The UK supplier will only have the destination output VAT they are charging to their customer and input tax recovery in respect of the importation meaning the VAT returns should be relatively simple.
  • If the UK supplier has no choice but to accept the DDP terms of the customer they should consider appointing a freight agent to deal with the import formalities on their behalf.

If you need more advice on how your business needs to trade with the EU, please get in contact with us.


Abbie Lisney PJCO Peter Jarman
Abbie Lisney

Check out our related blog: Cross border VAT- Goods arriving the UK

As an Employer, it’s been a long and uncertain 3 years for the UK and Brexit and especially for members of your team who are EU nationals living and working in the UK. From a business perspective, this uncertainty could have a very negative impact on your business if retaining EU national staff, and recruiting them in the future is part of your plan.

While the Vote Leave campaign promised ‘no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK’, the government has introduced the EU settlement scheme. The application is free for everyone to register their immigration status.

We have provided the answers to some of the most common questions surrounding Employers and the EU Settlement Scheme

Application deadlines:

The UK is set to leave the EU on the 31st January 2020, the deadline for the Settlement scheme is 30th June 2021 and applicants must be living in the UK before 31st December 2020 which is the end of the transition period.

Who is affected?

Your staff from the following areas will be affected:

  • Nations within the European Union
  • Nations within the European Economic Area (this is the EU, plus IcelandLiechtenstein and Norway)
  • Switzerland

How can your staff make an application through the EU settlement scheme?

The application process can only be completed online. There are no options for a face to face application or application by way of post. The steps that are required are as follows:

  • Identification – each person will need to verify their identity and nationality, either through their passport, national identity card or biometric residence permit.
  • Eligibility – each person will need to prove that they are resident in the UK. The person’s employment, tax and benefits records will be automatically checked to establish their length of continuous residence. If there are gaps in the person’s residence, however, they will be able to upload additional documents to fill in those gaps.
  • Suitability – criminal record checks will be made for any person over the age of 18. If an applicant is found to have been guilty of serious or persistent criminality either in the UK or overseas, they will have their application refused.

If the applicant is the family member of an EU national, and they are from outside of the EU, they will also need to establish their relationship to the EU national, through a birth certificate, marriage certificate etc. The additional evidence will need to be scanned and uploaded as part of the application process.

Need more information on the EU Settlement Scheme? Follow the link or contact us

Check out our related blog: Cross border VAT- Goods arriving in the UK

Supply of services

The two basic rules for services will remain unchanged post-transition:

Business-to-business (B2B) services

  • The basic place of supply of B2B services will be where the customer belongs. If the business customer belongs outside the UK, the supply is outside the scope of UK VAT.
  • The UK service provider must include the sale in Box 6 of their VAT return and ensure the invoice has a reverse-charge narrative to remind the customer of their reverse-charge obligation.
  • The requirement to report the service on the supplier’s EC Sales List has been removed from 1st January 2021.
  • The UK service provider can recover any related UK input tax provided the service would have been taxable were it made in the UK.
  • If you use QuickBooks to keep your records, the VAT code to use is 0% RC.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) services

  • The basic place of supply of B2C services is where the supplier belongs. This would ordinarily mean that UK VAT is chargeable on the service.
  • The basic B2B and B2C rules apply in the majority of situations but there are some overrides that can change the place of supply.

If you need support with the new Brexit changes, please get in contact!


Abbie Lisney PJCO Peter Jarman
Abbie Lisney
Benjamin Franklin

Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.

Benjamin Franklin