HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging small businesses and enthusiasts in the automotive sector to be aware of post-Brexit rules when sending and receiving parts from Europe or travelling across Europe to attend events, to ensure they don’t get caught out.

New rules have been in place since January this year and while larger VAT-registered businesses will have familiarised themselves with the changes already, smaller businesses such as independent garages and specialist parts retailers may not be fully aware of the changes to import and export rules and how they apply.

Likewise, for motor hobbyists who may want to order a specialist part from the EU to restore a classic car, or wish to travel across Europe to a rally, many would not have had to navigate the changes until recently.

With rallies, classic car exhibitions and festivals in full swing, including the upcoming Classic Motor Show in Birmingham and then, further afield, the Auto e Moto D’Epoca in Italy, enthusiasts are being encouraged to check they understand the new requirements.

HMRC has produced guidance to help people identify the best way to navigate the changes.

There is also an Online Trader Tool to ensure small businesses don’t get caught out by unexpected charges or unnecessary delays, as well as highlighting processes they can follow. The guidance also provides information needed to ensure small businesses are prepared ahead of next January when full customs declarations and controls will be introduced.

If small businesses are also moving parts or equipment between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, they can register with the free Trader Support Service.

Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, Directors General, Borders and Trade, HMRC, said: “With the lifting of travel restrictions and more events being held, we want auto enthusiasts to be able to continue to enjoy their cars, motorbikes and campervans like they always have.

“However, we know that many people would not have anticipated that the changes introduced at the beginning of the year would impact them, which is why we urge them to make sure they understand the new obligations by using the guidance available to them – on Gov.UK, from one of our YouTube videos or through our customer forums. Getting used to the new processes now will stand them in good stead ahead of January.”