In light of the unprecedented challenge that many businesses have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government will now introduce full border control processes on 1 January 2022, six months later than originally planned. The Government's original plan was to phase in checks on EU imports on 1 April and 1 July this year; but under the new Government plan announced on Thursday, the first checks will not take place until 1 October, and others will begin on 1 January 2022, with the final category starting in March 2022.
Exports to the European Union from Great Britain have been subject to controls since 1 January 2021, but last year the Government announced a timetable for the phased introduction of controls on imports from the European Union into Great Britain, to help businesses to prepare for Brexit in a phased way. Considering the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has now reviewed these timeframes and has included a revised timetable for the introduction of import customs controls, as follows:
- 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.
- 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.
- Physical sanitary and phytosanitary (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.
The Government hopes that this move should ease the burden on many businesses that are currently operating between Great Britain and the European Union.
Please contact us if you have any questions on this development or how we can help your organization navigate the new customs timetable for imports into Great Britain from the European Union.
Authored by Aline Doussin, Imogen Brooks, and Iris Karaman.