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Blogs | 17 June 2020

Brexit – A Phased Approach

The dates in this blog post might be outdated. For the most up-to-date information, please consult our UK landing page.

The UK Will Not Seek an Extension

Note: This article was updated on September 14, 2021 to reflect the postponement of compliance dates issued by the UK Parliament. 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.


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, staged transition before full UK border controls are implemented on July 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 175 days of the arrival date. This delayed declaration scheme is valid until 31.12.21 with all supplementary declarations under the scheme due by 1.7.2022. 
  • 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.
  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 January 2022

  • 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.
  • 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.

Beginning July 2022

  • Physical SPS checks for POAO, certain ABP, and HRFNAO apply at Border Control Posts
  • An Export Health Certificate (EHC) will be required for exports of POAO from the EU into the UK.
  • Start submitting Safety Security declarations (formerly ENS)
  • 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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