UK postpones health checks on EU goods coming into Great Britain

Mar 23, 2021

UK Cabinet Minister Michael Gove has announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government has revised the schedule for implementing certain import checks on goods entering GB from the EU.  Many of the grace periods were just to expire on 1 April and by 1 July 2021. Customs import declarations will still be required but the option to submit supplementary declarations up to six months after the goods have been imported has been extended to 1 January 2022.

In a written statement to the UK Parliament, Mr Gove cited the challenges businesses have been facing adjusting to new requirements in tandem with dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 and said that businesses “had made a strong case that they needed more time to prepare.”

The revised timetable is as follows:

  • Pre-notification requirements for Products of Animal Origin (POAO), certain animal by-products (ABP), and High-Risk Food Not of Animal Origin (HRFNAO) will not be required until 1 October 2021. Export Health Certificate requirements for POAO and certain ABP will come into force on the same date.
  • Customs import declarations will still be required, but the option to use the deferred declaration scheme, including submitting supplementary declarations up to six months after the goods have been imported, has been extended to 1 January 2022.
  • Safety and Security Declarations for imports will not be required until 1 January 2022.
  • Physical SPS checks for POAO, certain ABP, and HRFNAO will not be required until 1 January 2022. At that point they will take place at Border Control Posts.
  • Physical SPS checks on high-risk plants will take place at Border Control Posts, rather than at the place of destination as now, from 1 January 2022.
  • Pre-notification requirements and documentary checks, including phytosanitary certificates will be required for low-risk plants and plant products, and will be introduced from 1 January 2022.
  • From March 2022, checks at Border Control Posts will take place on live animals and low risk plants and plant products.