To all intents and purposes, the UK left the EU on 31 December 2020. However, some changes to rules were delayed to ease the transition. From 1 January 2022 there are additional customs rules to be aware of for businesses trading with the bloc. What’s changed?

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, there have been wholesale changes to the way imports and exports of goods are handled. The agreement struck in December 2020 means that there are no tariffs applied, but import tax has been applicable since January 2021. Certain processes, mainly regarding paperwork, were not initially required in order to allow affected businesses time to get used to the new relationship with their customers. These have now taken effect:

    • full customs import declarations are needed for all goods at the time a business or the courier/freight forwarder brings them into Great Britain
    • customs controls at all ports and other border locations
    • the possible need for a suppliers’ declaration proving the origin of your goods (either UK or EU) if using the zero tariffs agreed in the UK’s trade deal with the EU
      commodity codes, which are used to classify goods for customs declarations, are changing.

    Further information is available from HMRC.

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