New EU border and customs control plans are confirmed

23 July 2021

The Border and Protocol Delivery Group (BPDG) was established in 2017 to bring together the work of over 20 government departments and agencies operating at the border to develop a workable operating model for when the UK left the EU.

Part of the Cabinet Office, it has now published a major, 157-page report entitled The Border with the European Union: Importing and Exporting Goods, which sets out in detail Government plans on the future of border controls.

Available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1004070/2021_July_BordersOPModel_Publishing__2_.pdf, the report includes information about what traders can expect in the months ahead.

As well as covering the measures that were put in place in January 2021 when the UK left the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union, it looks at what will happen in stage two of the Government’s plans (from October 2021) and stage three (January 2022).

Responding to the report, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “It is now vital we get confirmation that the infrastructure and processes for controls relating to food, animal and plant products (sanitary and phytosanitary [SPS]) will be in place at ports across Great Britain.”

He highlighted data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) suggesting that inbound customs declarations on EU goods could cost businesses as much as £7.5 billion per year from next January.

The BCC has called for an extension to the SME Brexit Support Fund into next year to help firms adjust financially for this new phase of the biggest change in trading terms with the rest of Europe for half a century.