Border controls to be introduced in stages post-Brexit

22 Jun 2020


The British Government has formally ruled out seeking an extension to the Brexit transition period. The UK left the EU on January 31st this year, but existing train rules and membership of the single market and customs union will apply until the end of 2020. This means, that from January 1st, 2021, new rules when crossing the borders will apply. Border controls for EU goods imported into Great Britain will be introduced in stages when the Brexit transition period ends on 31st December 2020, to give businesses affected by coronavirus more time to prepare.

  • From January 2021: Traders importing standard goods, covering everything from clothes to electronics, will need to prepare for basic customs requirements, such as keeping sufficient records of imported goods, and will have up to six months to complete customs declarations. While tariffs will need to be paid on all imports, payments can be deferred until the customs declaration has been made. There will be checks on controlled goods like alcohol and tobacco. Businesses will also need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods. There will also be physical checks at the point of destination or other approved premises on all high risk live animals and plants.
  • From April 2021: All products of animal origin (POAO) – for example meat, pet food, honey, milk or egg products – and all regulated plants and plant products will also require pre-notification and the relevant health documentation.
  • From July 2021: Traders moving all goods will have to make declarations at the point of importation and pay relevant tariffs. Full Safety and Security declarations will be required, while for SPS commodities there will be an increase in physical checks and the taking of samples: checks for animals, plants and their products will now take place at GB Border Control Posts.

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