Import controls and more: What’s changing on 1 January?

Blogs 23 Dec 2021

Find out what the changes will occur when UK-EU agreed Grace periods end in 2022

The UK left the transition period on 1 January 2021 and the terms of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) have applied to trade between Great Britain and the EU ever since.

However, a series of grace periods – either agreed between the UK and EU or adopted unilaterally by the UK – also applied in relation to trade in goods. Most of these grace periods will end in 2022.

So, what’s changing?

1. Import controls

The UK Government will implement the first phase of import controls on 1 January 2022.

The first phase of these import controls will be introduced on 1 January, with the introduction of pre-notification requirements of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods and checks for several products of animal or plant origin.

Businesses importing relevant goods will need to pre-notify the UK Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS).

These requirements will apply to relevant goods imported from all EU countries, except for the Republic of Ireland.

You can find more information here.

Read our guide to getting started with importing here. 

2. Rules of origin

The zero-tariff treatment of goods agreed in the TCA is conditional on products originating from the EU or UK. This means that goods need to meet specific rules of origin requirements set out in the agreement.

Throughout 2021, businesses in the UK and EU have been able to export their goods to the other market, declare that they meet the rules of origin via a statement of origin, and evidence the claim via the relevant paperwork – known as a supplier’s declaration – later.

However, from 1 January 2022 businesses must hold a supplier’s declaration at the same time as issuing a statement of origin.

The Government has published further guidance on the change here and our guide to rules of origin here.

3. Deferred declarations

Throughout 2021, businesses importing goods have been able to use deferred customs declarations, providing the option of delaying sending full information to HMRC up to 175 days after import.

On 1 January, this option will end and full customs declarations will be required as standard.

The Government has published guidance on how to declare goods that can be accessed here and our introduction to customs declarations here.

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