Earlier in August, Business West warned that 24,000 companies in the South West needed to take urgent action and register for an EORI number as the prospect of a no deal Brexit loomed larger.
Now government has announced that it will act on the call from Business West, as part of the British Chambers of Commerce, and issue businesses with an EORI number automatically.
Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West said: “This step is long overdue, yet welcome nonetheless. We have campaigned for many months for government to issue EORI numbers to businesses, rather than simply wait for them to apply. This common sense step will prompt more traders to prepare for change, and consider what else they need to do to be ready for an unwanted ‘no deal’ scenario.
“Businesses do not want a messy and disorderly ‘no deal’ Brexit on 31 October, but given the ticking clock, it’s prudent that both government and industry be as prepared as possible. The proportion of firms applying for EORI numbers in the South West was concerningly low, and automatic issuance will help ease the administrative burden facing companies in the weeks and months ahead.
“Sorting EORI numbers is only a first step. For many firms, it will trigger more questions. Businesses still need clarity on many other cross-border trade issues, such as customs procedures at borders following a no deal exit and when the Government will launch an official database to provide ease of access to information on tariffs and quotas. The government must urgently provide answers to these questions, and ramp up both guidance and support for businesses.”