Borders announcement (re: end of Transition Period)

We expect you have seen today’s news regarding Government’s approach to border controls, so we wanted to confirm all the latest details that we have with you.

Following a meeting with the Withdrawal Joint Committee, the UK Government has formally notified the EU that it will neither accept or seek any extension to the Transition Period.

However, as we are all acutely aware, Coronavirus has had an unprecedented impact on all aspects of life and, because of this, Government is introducing border controls in stages for EU goods imported into GB to give businesses more time to prepare. 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.
  • From April 2021: All products of animal origin (POAO) 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.

To support businesses with the new processes taking effect next year, Government has developed a new £50m package to boost the capacity of customs intermediaries – including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators – providing businesses with further support. This funding will support intermediaries with recruitment, training and supplying IT equipment to help handle customs declarations. Rules will also be changed to remove barriers for intermediaries taking on new clients.

Additionally, Government has committed to building new border facilities in Great Britain 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. Consultations with ports across the UK are ongoing in order to agree what infrastructure is required.

Government recognises that whilst the above measures are an important step, there is still more work to be done towards getting industry ready for the end of the transition period.

Unfortunately, we have no additional information on the new measures and we fully appreciate that this announcement will impact each and every business.We therefore welcome your feedback and questions; and we will do our level best to get them answered for you as soon as we can.

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