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Brexit – A Phased Approach

Wed , 17 Jun 2020 | Customs, International trade, import, export, Brexit, UK, EU, Transition period

The UK Will Not Seek an Extension

Note: This article was updated on March 12, 2021 to reflect the postponement of compliance dates issued by the UK Parliament, which now adds a fourth stage with full formalities taking force March 1, 2022. More detailed information can be found in our article The UK Border Operating Model for Trade with the EU.

UK border controls and customs procedures entered into effect on 1 January 2021.

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The UK Will Introduce Border Controls on Imports from the EU in Stages, Beginning January 1, 2021

Following the formal communication by the UK government to the EU that the UK will not seek an extension of the transition period, the UK Government announced the following temporary measures in the field of customs. They will allow for a gradual transition in four stages during the  before full UK border controls are implemented on March 1, 2022. These measures will only apply to imports from the EU into Great Britain, not on trade between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland or between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Each of these temporary measures needs to be further clarified by the UK government since a lot of questions remain. C4T will keep you informed on updates.

Beginning January 2021

  1. Imports of STANDARD goods to the UK
  • Upon arrival of goods in the UK, only an entry into the importer’s records (EIDR) will need to be made (no import declaration must be lodged).
  • This entry is to be followed by a supplementary declaration into the UK’s customs system, CHIEF, within 6 months of the arrival date.
  • Import duties are due at the rate set in the UK Global Tariff Schedule.
  • VAT and duty payments may be deferred until the time the supplementary declaration is lodged.
  • No Entry Summary declaration (ENS) is required for a 6-month period (January-June 2021).
  1. Imports of CONTROLLED goods such as toxic chemicals and excise goods (alcohol, tobacco)
  • A full import declaration must be lodged in CHIEF upon entry in the UK.
  • These will follow the same procedure as for Rest of the World (ROW) imports for duty and VAT payment.
  1. Imports of high-risk plants and plant products, animal by-products, and live animals
  • A pre-notification and the required health permits and documentation are necessary.
  • A full import declaration upon entry in the UK is required.
  • There will be physical checks at the destination or other authorised premises inland.
  • Documentary checks will be carried out remotely.

 Beginning October 2021

  • All Products of Animal Origin (POAO), certain animal by-products (ABP), and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO) will require pre-notification and presentation of the relevant health certificates.

Beginning January 2022

  • For all goods (including standard goods), import declarations must be lodged at the port of entry.
  • For the UK imports, the import declaration may be lodged at the port of entry, but for RoRo shipments, the UK import declarations must be lodged prior to departure from the EU.
  • ENS must be lodged at least two hours before arrival in the UK for shortsea transport and one hour before arrival at the French Eurotunnel terminal.
  • Import duties are due at the rate set in the UK Global Tariff Schedule.
  • Inspections will be made on SPS products at GB Border Control Posts and occur more frequently.

Beginning March 2022

  • Live animals and low-risk plants and plant products will be subject to physical checks at the designated Border Control Posts.

The possibility to postpone the lodging of import declarations and related duty payments for UK imports of standard goods in 2021 may be a good option for companies less prepared for the Brexit, but one should also consider the benefits of lodging a full import declaration, as it requires no follow-up or declaration filing after the arrival of the goods in the UK.

C4T can help companies become Brexit-proof with regards to customs and trade compliance. We have incorporated Brexit flows into our automated customs management system, as well as instituted a fast onboarding process to help businesses implement a light version of CAS without the need for IT support. Contact us today to keep your trade flowing throughout this transition.

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