Business Bulletin - Brexit: New rules are here - 15 March 2021

Please see the latest Business Readiness updates below.


Revised timetable for the introduction of import border controls
A new timetable for introducing import border control processes will enable UK businesses to focus on their recovery from the COVID pandemic. The government will now introduce full border control processes, six months later than originally planned.

From 1 October 2021: 

  • Pre-notification requirements will be required for products of animal origin, high risk food not of animal origin (HRFNAO) and certain animal by products.
  • Health certificates will be required for products of animal origin and certain animal by-products.

For more information on importing or moving live animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed of animal origin, click here. For more information on importing or moving fish to the UK, click here. Guidance on importing animals has also been updated in “guidance for EU businesses exporting to the UK”, click here for more information.

From 1 January 2022: 

  • Safety and Security declarations for imported goods will be required.
  • Physical SPS checks for products of animal origin, certain animal by-products, HRFNAO and high risk plants, will take place at Border Control Posts.
  • Prenotification requirements and documentary checks, including phytosanitary certificates, will be introduced for low risk plants and plant products.
  • Customs declarations on all goods will be required at the point of import, and businesses will no longer be able to use the deferred declaration scheme.

From 1 March 2022: 

  • Checks at Border Control Posts will take place on live animals, low risk plants and plant products.

Traders moving controlled goods into Great Britain will continue to be ineligible for the deferred customs declaration approach. They will therefore be required to complete a full customs declaration, when the goods enter Great Britain. For more information on the announcement, click here. For a step-by-step guide on importing goods into the UK, click here.

SME Brexit Support Fund is open for applications
The SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover.
Traders can apply for up to £2,000 in total through two types of grants:

Grant for Training: The grants can be used to provide training on the following:

  • How to complete customs declarations
  • How to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems
  • Specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin

Grant for Professional Advice: The grant can be used to get professional advice, so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.

Find out more information on eligibility for the fund and apply online.

Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier, if all funding is allocated before this date.

UPDATED: Trading with developing nations: Guidance on the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences has been updated, with guidance added on Guidance Scheme of Preference (GSP) goods entering the UK from a customs warehouse in an EU member state, and GSP goods sent to an EU member state from a customs warehouse in the UK. For more information, click here.

Moving Goods
UPDATED: List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations, has been updated. For more information, click here.


  • Importers of food and drink products from the EU to Great Britain: dates and registration dates for upcoming webinars have been updated. Topics include food & drink on 29 March at 2pm, Composite food products on 15 March at 2pm and Fish and fishery products on 22 March at 2pm. To register and for more information, and to watch previous webinar recording, click here.

Video content to keep your business moving: short on-demand videos covering the new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring are available to view here.

Sector-specific guidance

UPDATED: Participating in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme:
 Guidance has been updated with a timetable for onboarding UK Emissions Trading Registry accounts. For more information, click here.

Life Sciences
NEW: Importing medicines into Northern Ireland before 31 December 2021: New guidance has been issued on importing of medicines into Northern Ireland. For more information, click here.

Business Support Helplines
There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1 January, and you need to take action now.  To help you, a helpline has been set up.  For English businesses, the Business Support Helpline can help you identify the actions you need to take. Similar helplines are available for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

For more information for:

businesses in England, call 0800 998 1098
businesses in Scotland, call 0300 303 0660
businesses in Wales, call 0300 060 3000
businesses in Northern Ireland, call 0800 181 4422.

For more information, including opening hours, click here.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 

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