Revisiting Brexit: An important update

On June 12, 2020 the United Kingdom issued to trade the updated process for import entry requirements for goods that originate from the European Union.  These changes to the entry process will take effect on January 1, 2021, and will be implemented in Stages to assist businesses in giving them the right amount of time to prepare for the change. The UK is introducing a six-month transition period with three stages to provide flexibility for businesses to properly prepare.

The stages are:

  • From January 2021: 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. There will be checks on controlled goods like alcohol and tobacco. Businesses will also need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods. There will also be physical checks at the point of destination or other approved premises on all high-risk live animals and plants.
  • From April 2021: All products of animal origin – for example, meat, pet food, honey, milk, or egg products – 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 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 GB Border Control Posts.


Customs & Excise 

  • The same customs & excise rules are applied on EU goods as on non-EU goods now. 
  • Customs declaration will need to be set up for importing and exporting goods from the UK. Safety and security declaration is required for imports and should be included in the export declaration.  
  • Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) can no longer be used for movements in and out of the UK. However, it can be utilized for movements within the UK.


Note: This approach is for GB/EU trade. This approach does not apply to the flow of trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland, or between Northern Ireland and GB which is covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

UK Trade Tariff 

  • EU’s Common Customs Tariff (CCT) will not be applicable from January 31, 2020, onward. 
  • Trade with EU will be non-preferential, on WTO terms.
  • The UK does not plan any immediate deviation from the current commodity code list published in the UK trade tariff.


As we continue to receive updates from the United Kingdom for import as well as export processes we will keep you properly informed and apprised of these changes so that you are prepared.