At the time of writing the PM has just announced new votes in the House of Commons in mid-March which will take a no deal off the table, for the time being at least.
However businesses are still advised to ‘hope for the best and prepare for the worst’ i.e. gear up as far as possible for a no deal situation, be it on March 30 or after a delay of a matter of months. With regard to Certificates of Origin and ATA Carnets, the following should be noted.
Certificates of Origin (CO)
In a no deal scenario a UK CO (non-preferential) has been designed in accordance with the relevant international convention and has been approved by government lawyers. This is believed to an acceptable replacement for the current non-preferential CO and will be issued post-March 30. Non-preferential CO are generally called for as part of the payment mechanism e.g. via a documentary letter of credit or for trade defence reasons, or because the importer is anticipating re-exporting the goods.
Movement Certificates EUR (which are in effect preferential CO) and are used to evidence origin in EU free trade agreements will remain the appropriate document in a no deal scenario only where the agreements have been rolled over. We understand that this is the case with Switzerland, Israel and the Palestinian Authorities, and Chile as well as Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe. It is understood that a (slightly) revised EUR form has been prepared by government and will be ready if needed.
In other FTA markets, if there is no roll over then the EUR would not be appropriate though the buyer might call for a non-preferential CO.
If the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the UK Parliament, non-preferential CO will continue to be used for the duration of the transition period exactly as they are now and in the same EU format.
Note that non-preferential CO for exports to Arab League countries will be unaffected and there is no need for the format of the document to change in the Brexit context whether there is a deal or not. However, some Arab League states are party to certain EU free trade agreements e.g. Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia.
In a deal scenario, ATA Carnets – the passports for goods being temporarily moved cross border for the purpose of being shown at trade fairs or exhibitions, or for professional equipment and samples – will continue to be issued exactly as now, at least until the end of the transition period. Carnets will not therefore be appropriate for temporary movements to and from the EU 27.
In a no deal scenario it is likely that ATA Carnets – with a minor change to the information contained on the front cover of the document – will be able to be used for appropriate temporary shipments to the EU 27 as the UK has signed the relevant international conventions both as the UK and en bloc through the EU. Consequently there would be a significant increase in the number of ATA Carnets issued from the UK as well as for goods coming in temporarily from the EU. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry has made the necessary changes to the document for this scenario but, naturally, will only make the revised Carnets available in the event of no deal.
For further information on export documents issued by LCCI contact Davor McKinley.