Brexit Update: UK Postpones Introduction of Customs Controls and Full Customs Declarations

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The UK government has postponed its timetable for the introduction of customs controls and the submission of full customs declarations, as set out in the Border Operating Model. Simplified declaration procedures for importing goods are therefore possible until the end of 2021.  

The March 11, 2021 statement announced that the 3-step schedule ("Border Operating Model") for phasing in customs controls and customs declarations when importing goods into the United Kingdom (UK) will be postponed. The postponement is aimed at giving companies that are particularly affected and challenged by the current Corona pandemic more time to adapt to the new import conditions. 

According to the British authorities, the revised schedule provides for the following steps:

  • 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.

For goods subject to export controls, no simplifications will apply and full customs declarations will have to be submitted at import.


Source: DSLV

Henrik Schütte

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