As it is increasingly likely that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal on April 12, the European Commission yesterday reminded that this implies the return of extensive customs and border controls.
And it also means that significant delays and major upheavals in the flow of people and products from the 27 member states to the UK are inevitable.
That is why the Republic of Cyprus is also preparing for a possible no-deal exit of Britain. Both Customs and the Taxation department are therefore carrying out public information campaigns and sending out public circulars.
In addition, the ministries are drafting bills in a bid to facilitate the smooth exit of Britain since all sectors now will have to be determined through bilateral agreements.
This is in the case where lack of a withdrawal agreement is reached, even at the very last minute. On the other hand, if an agreement is reached then negotiations will take place at European level.
Since Cyprus must be prepared in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Customs Department has proceeded with relevant changes, Deputy Director Kyriaki Myrianthopoulou told Phileleftheros.
The Department’s systems are now programmed to be ready for a no-deal Brexit, which means that Britain will be treated as a third country, she also said. “There have been changes and corrections in our systems, and the Department has passed all initial tests,” added Myrianthopoulou.
“Customs officers have also been trained for the new procedures that should be applied, while the commercial world has been informed over the changes.”
At the same time, the island’s Tax Commissioner has informed the business community that in the event of a UK withdrawal without agreement, VIES will declare the supplies of goods/services that will take place until April 12, 2019 to persons with a VAT registration number of the United Kingdom.
Deliveries of goods/services to the United Kingdom that will take place from April 13, 2019 onwards will not be considered as intra-community, so they will not be reported in Summary Tables, added the Commissioner who also pointed out that the same will apply to INTRASTAT statements.