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Government announces new approach to customs procedures from January 1st 2021


The UK Government confirmed today that they will not be extending the Transition Period.

Recognising the impact of coronavirus on businesses’ ability to prepare for the impact of leaving the EU without a Free Trade Deal, the government has announced it will introduce new border controls in three stages:

  • January 2021: Companies importing standard goods (which covers all fashion and textiles) 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.

Tariffs will need to be paid on all imports, payments can be deferred until the customs declaration has been made. Businesses will need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods.

  • April 2021: All products of animal origin and all regulated plants and plant products will require pre-notification and the relevant health documentation.
  • July 2021: Companies moving all goods will have to make declarations at the point of import and pay relevant tariffs. Full Safety and Security declarations will be required and checks for animals, plants and their products will take place at GB Border Control Posts.

Further detail on what this means in practice will be published as soon as it is available.

UKFT is in constant dialogue with the government and we continue to raise the huge importance of securing a free trade deal with the EU as rapidly as possible.