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UK Government sets out plans for the end of the Transition Period

Published on: 15 June 2020

Passport control

The UK Government has set out further details of future border controls. These controls are designed for EU goods which are imported into Britain at the end of the Transition Period. 

The announcement coincided with a communication from the UK to the EU at the end of last week. This notified the EU that the UK Government would not accept or seek an extension to the Transition Period. 

The new border arrangements will be introduced at the end of the Transition Period in three stages. This is to give businesses affected by COVID-19 more time to prepare for the new measures. 

British Marine understands the checks will be introduced as follows:

From January 2021: Traders importing standard goods, covering everything from clothes to electronics, 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. While tariffs will need to be paid on all imports, payments can be deferred until the customs declaration has been made. Businesses will also need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods. There will be physical checks at the point of destination or other approved premises on all high risk live animals and plants.

From April 2021: Products of animal origin and all regulated plants and plant products will also require pre-notification and the relevant health documentation.

From July 2021: Traders moving all goods will have to make declarations at the point of importation and pay relevant tariffs. Full Safety and Security declarations will be required, while for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) commodities there will be an increase in physical checks and the taking of samples: checks for animals, plants and their products will now take place at British Border Control Posts.

British Marine also understands that the UK Government will, alongside these new controls, invest in more border facilities and technology. It has also confirmed a new £50 million support package to boost the capacity of the customs intermediary sector – including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators which is designed to assist businesses moving forward.

Further rounds of negotiations are due to take place at the end of June and in July. 

More information on the incoming checks can be found here.

For members wishing to stay up-to-date with the latest developments on COVID-19, please visit our dedicated Coronavirus Hub.