New timetable for EU to UK border controls from 2022

Supply chains in the UK and across Europe have been drastically affected by the Global pandemic.

As a consequence, the Government has now set out a new timetable introducing full import controls for goods being imported from the EU to the UK. The revised timetable will allow businesses to adjust to new processes being phased in across 2022.

When will the controls take effect?

Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as previously announced, although safety and security declarations will now not be required until 1 July 2022.

The revised timetable is as follows:

  • 1 January 2022:
    • The requirements for pre-notification of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods (previously 1 October 2021)
  • 1 July 2022:
    • The new requirements for Export Health Certificates (previously 1 October 2021)
    • Phytosanitary Certificates and physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts (previously 1 January 2022)
    • Safety and Security declarations on imports will be required (previously 1 January 2022). 

Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, Lord Frost, said:

“We want businesses to focus on their recovery from the pandemic rather than have to deal with new requirements at the border, which is why we’ve set out a pragmatic new timetable for introducing full border controls. Businesses will now have more time to prepare for these controls which will be phased in throughout 2022.

The government remains on track to deliver the new systems, infrastructure and resourcing required.”

Are you planning to use a Freeport to import or export your goods?

In the 2021 Spring Budget the Chancellor announced a number of areas to be designated as Freeports. Those areas would have a number of direct and indirect tax advantages for businesses located there.

Among those advantages is relief from customs duty and the ability to make simplified declarations. HMRC have now published guidance for businesses planning to take advantage of the new procedures.

Freeport customs sites (also known as a ‘free zone’) are secure customs zones where you can import or export goods inside the UK’s land border, but where special import or export rules apply.

If you choose to use a customs site to import or export goods, you may be able to:

  • Get relief from duties and import taxes
  • Use simplified declarations processes to reduce administrative burdens
  • Choose which rate of Customs Duty you use if processing the goods changes their classification

If your goods are purchased in the UK, you will continue to pay duties and import taxes using the normal UK rates.

If you are a business who wants to move goods into or out of a Freeport customs site, you will need to apply to use the Freeport customs special procedure to import goods that are not controlled.

Further details on getting your business ready to use a Freeport customs site can be found on the Gov.UK website.

If you have any queries about any of the above please get in touch with a member of our tax team on 01903 234094.