Regulations on UK imports are shifting. These new regulations will bring additional scrutiny and bureaucracy to UK imports as importers face regulation change over the next 6 months.
The key milestones between now and 1st January 2022 need to be realised by businesses who are involved with importing from the EU. However, this is not entirely limited to just the UK as traders in EU countries may also feel the ramifications of this change. UK importers have “enjoyed” a gentle introduction to Great Britain being a 3rd Country, but the regulatory changes are staring down the barrel at them and they must, once again, prepare.
The most notable of these key milestones is 1st January 2022 when the opportunity to clear goods using delayed declarations comes to an end and safety and security declarations for imports will be required.
From the 1st October 2021, there will be a pre-notification requirement for Products of Animal Origin (POAO), low-risk animal by-products not for human consumption (ABP), and High Risk Food Not Of Animal Origin (HRFNAO) that will come into force. Health certificate requirements for POAO and ABP will also become mandatory. Then, from 1st January 2022 there will also be a requirement for physical sanitary and phytosanitary checks at Border Control Posts for high-priority plants, products of animal origin, high risk food of non-animal origin, germinal products, and animal by-products.
Where UK exporters have faced some major headaches so far this year with additional paperwork, the weight of additional bureaucracy is due to fall on the shoulders of importers and it is essential they start putting plans in place to keep their trade flowing. Moreover, we could well see a bottle-neck scenario with customs agents, like the market experienced in the first few months of 2021. Through the use of software, businesses can regain confidence and security over customs regulations and remain compliant.
Tom Sommer, Director at ChannelPorts said “ChannelPorts made a calculated decision prior to 1st January 2021 that our customs software would only provide full frontier import declarations as we believed that this would give our customers the best opportunity to prepare for future adjustments. We were of the opinion that for many types of businesses the import easements were simply a way of kicking the can down the road, adding to existing administrative and financial burdens that have come about since Brexit. For some businesses the introduction of GB import easements have been hugely beneficial for them to continue trading, but now traders on both sides of the channel must prepare for an end to the easement process. The Government must start ramping up its communications to ensure UK businesses are best prepared.”
Ultimately, the most important thing as we move forward with the new regulations is preparation and maintaining an awareness of the changes that are coming into place. Whilst these changes will come with its own set of challenges and, likely, a great deal of paperwork, using software to automate the process can enable businesses to keep on top of future adjustments. Importers should use these next few months to anticipate the paperwork requirements and add additional support to their administrative staff so that they are not overwhelmed by these regulations when they come into effect.