Last reviewed 8 December 2021

The Brexit process was phased to allow businesses to prepare for the full impact of leaving the EU. One major change is the introduction of full customs controls on 1 January 2022 for goods moving to and from the EU. Those involved in the import and export of goods within the business should be informed of the changes, including agents, couriers, transport companies and freight forwarders.

Unless goods have a valid customs declaration and received customs clearance, the goods will not be able to leave the port of entry (with some exceptions); this will potentially delay both the import and the export of goods. In order to facilitate clearance, it is possible that goods will be moved to an Inland Border Facility for any necessary checks.

Customs declarations

Delayed import declarations using the Staged Customs Controls rules will no longer apply from 1 January. It will, therefore, be necessary to consider how declarations will be made and how any duties due will be paid. Two main options are available unless full declarations are to be made with each entry:

  • using an agent to make declarations

  • using simplified declarations.

A duty deferment account is required if simplified declarations are used.

One significant change is that EU country codes must no longer be used, and instead the individual country code must be used in each case.

In addition, arrived export declarations need to be submitted when goods move through border locations that use the arrived exports process.

On all declarations the full Commodity Code needs to be entered. These are standard codes that are reviewed regularly by the World Customs Organization. UK codes will be changing on 1 January 2022.

Certificates of origin

To benefit from reduced or nil tariff rates under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU, it is necessary to be able to prove where the goods originate. To obtain the benefit of reduced tariffs, goods imported into the UK must originate in the EU. Goods exported from the UK to the EU must originate in the UK.

Originate means that the goods, or the materials, parts or ingredients, have been produced or manufactured in the declared country of origin. The place where the goods are shipped or bought from is irrelevant. The TCA has specific rules of origin for the goods that are being imported or exported. To claim this preference the exporter can make out a statement of origin to confirm the pace of origin. Alternatively, the importer’s knowledge can be used to claim the preference based on their knowledge of where the goods they are importing originate from.

It will no longer be permitted to provide supplier declarations after the time of export or import.

Other changes

Further changes are being applied from 1 July 2022. This includes:

  • full safety and security declarations

  • expanded requirements of export health Certificates

  • phytosanitary certificate requirements

  • extra checks on sanitary and phytosanitary goods.

It is advisable to start making arrangements to ensure that exports and imports are complaint for these changes in good time.