Less than a month before the introduction of full customs controls


If you are a trader, a number of things will change as of January 1, 2022. This information will help you prepare.

Customs declarations

You will no longer be able to delay import customs declarations under the phased customs control rules that applied in 2021. Most customers will be required to make declarations and pay applicable tariffs at the point of import.

You need to think about before January 1, 2022 how you are going to submit your customs declarations and pay the duties due. You can appoint an intermediary, such as a customs broker, to process your declarations on your behalf or you can submit them yourself.

Some companies already have a “Simplified declarations” authorization. HMRC which allows their goods to be cleared directly under a specified customs procedure without having to provide a full customs declaration at the time of release.

If you want to use simplified declarations, you will need permission to do so. It may take up to 60 calendar days to complete the necessary verifications for this purpose and you will also need to have a duty deferral account in place. Therefore, a new request made now cannot be authorized before January 1, 2022.

You must use the correct country code for the country of origin and the country of shipment when completing your customs declaration. For EU countries, the individual country code of the relevant Member State should be used. The EU country code should not be used and will be removed from systems shortly.

Border controls

Ports and other border locations will be required to monitor goods transporting Britain and the EU. This means that unless your goods have a valid declaration and have been cleared through customs, they cannot be released and, in most cases, will not be able to leave the port.

From 1 January 2022, your goods may be directed to an internal border facility for documentary or physical checks if these checks cannot be carried out at the border.

It is important that those involved in transporting your goods are prepared and understand how you plan to operate from January 2022.

From January 1, 2022, you must also submit an “arrived” export declaration if your goods are in transit through any of the border locations that use the export-on-arrival process.

If you do not follow the correct process from January 1, 2022, the new systems will not allow your goods to leave the country and they will be refused because they will not be allowed for export.

If you are using a service such as a courier or freight forwarder to move your goods, you should check their terms and conditions to find out who will be making the declarations and what other information they need from you to do so.

Rules of origin – for imports and exports

The UK’s agreement with the EU, known as the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), means that the goods you import or export can benefit from a reduced rate of customs duty (tariff preference). To use it, you need proof that the goods you:

  • imports from the EU originate from there
  • export to the EU comes from the UK

By “origin” we mean the place where the goods (or the materials, parts or ingredients used to make them) were produced or manufactured. This is not where the goods were shipped or purchased. Your goods will have to meet the requirements of the product-specific rules of origin set out in the TCA.

UK and EU importers can request a tariff preference if they have one of the following proofs of origin:

  • a declaration of origin – this must be made by the exporter to confirm that the product is from the UK or the EU
  • knowledge of the importer – this option allows the importer to request a tariff preference based on their own knowledge of the origin of the goods they are importing

If you are exporting goods to the EU and you provide the EU importer with an origin declaration, you may also need to have a supplier declaration. These are needed to confirm the origin of the goods you are exporting when manufacturing alone is not sufficient to meet product-specific rules of origin.

Throughout 2021, you have been allowed to export goods to the EU using tariff preference and obtain supplier declarations afterwards, to give you more time. But from January 1, 2022, you must have the supplier’s declarations (if applicable) at the time you export your goods.

If you cannot provide a supplier declaration to confirm the UK origin of goods that you exported to the EU between January 1 and December 31, 2021, you must notify your customer.

If you are the subject of a request for verification by the EU customs authorities and you cannot provide this proof, your EU customer will be required to pay the full (non-preferential) rate of customs duties. customs and we may also charge you a penalty.

Even if the goods you import from the EU are eligible for the tariff preference, VAT the rules will still apply.

Postponed VAT Accounting

If you are a VAT– registered importer, you can continue to use Postponed VAT Accounting (AVP) on all customs declarations that require you to account for the import VAT, including additional declarations, except when HMRC have told you otherwise. AVP has already provided significant cash flow benefits to thousands of our customers, and we expect most businesses to choose to use it.

Commodity codes

Commodity codes are used around the world to classify imported and exported goods. They are standardized up to 6 digits and revised by the World Customs Organization every 5 years. After the end of the last revision, the UK codes will change on January 1, 2022.

You can also check the commercial pricing news page.

Other changes from July 1, 2022

Other changes will be introduced from July 2022, of which we will inform you more shortly.

These will include:

  • full safety and security declarations requirements for all imports
  • new requirements for export health certificates
  • requirements for phytosanitary certificates
  • physical checks of sanitary and phytosanitary products at border control posts


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