UK government accelerates border planning for the end of Brexit transition period

Jun 22, 2020

The UK government has accelerated border planning for the end of the Brexit transition period, following their formal notification to the EU that the UK will neither accept nor seek any extension to the transition period. From 1 January 2021, the new UK Global Tariff will kick in, where the UK will have the autonomy to introduce its own approach to goods imported to GB from the EU. The UK government has committed to building new border facilities in GB for carrying out required checks, such as customs compliance, transit, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks, as well as providing targeted support to ports to build new infrastructure.

The UK has taken the decision to introduce the new border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021. The stages are:

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.