Incoming customs controls

The remaining import controls on goods from the European Union entering the United Kingdom will no longer be introduced this year.

The Government has announced that it will be reviewing how to implement the remaining controls in an improved way, with the review set to be published in autumn and the new controls regime coming into force at the end of 2023.

The controls introduced in January 2021 on the highest risk imports of animals, animal products, plants and plant products will continue to apply alongside the customs controls which have already been introduced.

Further details regarding all of the information provided below can be found in the Government’s guide to ‘The Border with the European Union: Importing and Exporting Goods’.

  • 1st January 2022

    At The Port - BREXIT Key Dates

    Customs declarations will be required at the point of entry alongside payment of the relevant tariffs. Completing a customs declaration will require a GB EORI number, the commodity code of the goods, the value of the goods and their origin. Businesses may decide to hire an intermediary – such as a freight forwarding service – to help them deal with customs.

    Simplified declarations for imports are also available and involve fewer requirements at the border by allowing traders to use a simplified customs declaration or entry in business records upfront, followed by a supplementary declaration up to four weeks later. Those hoping to make use of this procedure will need authorisation, which can take up to 60 days.

    Ports and other border locations will be required to control goods moving between GB and the EU, meaning that goods will only be released into circulation if they have a valid declaration and have received customs clearance.

    From 1st January 2022, goods may be directed to an Inland Border Facility for documentary or physical checks if these cannot be done at the border.

    From this date, businesses will also be required to submit an ‘arrived’ export declaration if their goods are moving through one of the border locations that use the arrived exports process.

    Those importing from and exporting to the EU must meet the new rules of origin in order to qualify for tariff-free trade. To be considered originating and thus eligible for a reduced rate of Customs Duty, goods must be sufficiently worked or processed within the countries outlined in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

    UK and EU importers can claim tariff preference if they have either a statement on origin – made out by the export to confirm where the product originated – or proof of the importer’s knowledge.

    From 1st January 2022, the UK’s commodity codes will also be changing. Businesses will need to find the right commodity code for any goods imported or exported using the Trade Tariff tool to ensure that customs declarations and other paperwork are properly completed, and that the right amount of Customs Duty and import VAT is paid.

    Pre-notification will be required for imported animal products (ABP and POAO), and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin. Importers must provide advanced notice to the relevant regulatory bodies of a consignment’s arrival into GB, typically in the form of a standardised import notification form.

    The Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System must be used for imports of live animals, products of animal origin subject to veterinary checks, high-risk food and feed not of animal origin, germplasm, and animal by-products not intended for human consumption subject to veterinary checks.

    The Government’s Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) will also become operational for EU-GB goods movements from 1st January 2022. This will enable declaration references to be linked together so that the person moving the goods – such as a haulier – will only have to present a single Goods Movement Reference to prove that their goods have pre-lodged declarations.

    Hauliers moving goods through UK ports that are using the GVMS will need to register for the service in order to get their goods through customs.

  • Postponed controls:

    BREXIT Timeline - Declaration on Goods

    Safety and Security declarations were due to come into force on 1st July 2022 but have been postponed by the UK Government. These will eventually be required on all imports.

    Import requirements relating to EU Products of Animal Origin (POAO) for human consumption, germinal products, and Animal By-Products not for human consumption (ABP) have been postponed. These checks, which would require certain goods to be accompanied by certification and to enter Great Britain via an establish point of entry with an appropriate Border Control Post, will no longer come into force on 1st July 2022.

    The Government has also delayed live animal physical checks at designated Border Control Posts.

    Postponements relating to SPS goods includes a requirement for SPS checks being moved to Border Control Posts, a requirement for health certification for further SPS imports, and a requirement for SPS goods to be presented at a BCP. These SPS measures have been delayed whilst the Government undertakes a review of import controls.

    Certification and physical checks were due to be introduced for all dairy products on 1st September 2022, though this has now been delayed.

    Certification and physical checks were due to be introduced for all remaining regulated POAO, including composite products and fish products on 1st November 2022. These requirements have now been postponed.