Border Control Announcement

July 2, 2020

On Friday 12th June the UK Government announced that border controls will be introduced on a stage by stage basis at the end of the Transition Period for EU goods imported into Great Britain. Now, for maybe the first time, we can confidently reiterate what Whitehall have announced that there will be no extension to the Transition Period and from 31st December at 2300hrs GMT the new border controls will be introduced. The following summary only applies to imports into Great Britain from the EU, GB exports into the EU will be subject to EU policy but we can assume it will be full control from the end of the Transition Period. Imports and exports from outside the EU will continue as they are today.

The three key stages to be aware of are as follows:

Stage 1: Commencing at 2300hrs GMT on 31/12/20

  • Goods that are considered high risk (e.g. chemicals, tobacco, alcohol) will require a full customs entry and Duty/Taxes will be secured on import.
  • Imports of standard goods will not need a full customs entry but will need to keep sufficient records of imported goods and a grace period of up to 6 months to complete customs declarations and pay tariffs.
  • Tariffs are still due during the first 6 months, but they only become payable once the customs declaration has been completed – which will need to be done before 1st July 2020. 

Stage 2: April 2021

  • All imports that fall into the category of being from animal or plant origin (POAO) will require pre-notification and the appropriate health documentation.
  • Examinations will be conducted at the importer’s premises, NOT at the port of entry.

Stage 3: July 2021

  • All imports will require a full Safety and Security entry and duty will be secured on arrival into GB.
  • Examinations of animal and plant origin imports will now take place at Border Control Posts.

If your business is already well prepared for post Transition Period, then it may well be beneficial to lodge your full import declarations from day 1.

We are well aware that many businesses will be suffering an interruption to their end of transition period planning and focussing on the immediate future. We continue to encourage our readers to keep an eye on the progress of UK/EU trade negotiations, but whatever is happening externally should not stop some self-assessment to ensure your business is well prepared for the new arrangements.

By Tom Sommer