Brexit Overview

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All the things you can do now to get your company ready for Brexit
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Is Your Business Brexit Ready?

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and the Brexit transition period ended 
at 11pm on 31 December 2020. 

The UK and the EU have signed a new trade agreement, however, import and export customs declarations along with safety & security filing are required for trading with the EU and moving goods between
Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI).

The end of the Brexit Transition period brings significant changes for logistics and supply chain operations, with customs formalities required on all goods moving between the UK and EU,
and GB and NI.  

Click here to read our pre and post Brexit Transition Research papers

Over 150,000 businesses in the UK trade with the EU and many will need to submit customs declarations and security filings for the first time.  

Sign-up to Descartes’ e-Customs software in our Online Shop to manage your customs declarations for Brexit.

Importing into the UK from the EU
Exporting from the UK into the EU
Moving Goods from the EU to Great Britain
Moving Goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

The Overall Impact of Brexit

Brexit impacts all businesses trading with the EU and moving goods between GB and NI and will require over 200 million additional customs declarations per annum. Expertise is in short supply and customs agency capacity does not exist today to deal with the expected increased volume of customs declarations for Brexit.

Put simply, if you trade goods with the EU, those goods will need to have import or export customs declarations covering their movement in/out of the UK. In addition, if you trade between GB and NI then goods moved into NI will require a Movement declaration. Regardless of the Free Trade Agreement between the UK and the EU the requirement for customs declarations on goods moving between the UK and EU remains. You need to use a commodity code (also known as a tariff code) to classify your goods when you complete import or export declarations.

As well as customs declarations for goods, the end of the transition period also brought in the need for safety and security fillings for their movements.

Sign-up to Descartes’ e-Customs software in our Online Shop to manage your customs declarations for Brexit.

The Unique Implications of Brexit

Changes caused by Brexit will impact a number of processes, but the most widely impacting change is the need for:

  • Import customs declarations
  • Export customs declarations, and
  • Safety and security filings

for all goods traded between the UK and the EU and goods moved between GB and NI.

Much talked about in the media in the run-up to Brexit has been the possibility of delays that may occur for vehicles arriving at UK ports from the EU. Planning for these delays is a key aspect of any Brexit Transition plan and there are mechanisms available today that can help to greatly reduce or eliminate these delays, see External Temporary Storage Facility (ETSF).

Other significant areas impacted include:

  • Movement of goods under transit
  • Authorised consignee/consignor status to ease movement through RoRo ports
  • Duty rates on UK goods into EU and changes to rates on goods into the UK
  • Mandatory or recommended pre-arrival import customs declarations
  • Movement of excise goods
  • No low value consignment relief on VAT into the UK for e-commerce
  • Postponed accounting of VAT

No matter how large or small your business, anyone trading with the EU from the UK or moving goods between GB and NI will be affected by Brexit. This includes:

  • eCommerce retailers
  • Retailers
  • Manufacturers
  • Freight Forwarders
  • Traders
  • Logistics Service Providers
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Pharmaceuticals

Brexit Timeline & Milestones

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and the Brexit Transition Period ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020.  

The Important Dates for Brexit in 2021

28 February: Initial date by which the European Parliament aim to have consented to the UK-EU TCA. This date can be extended by a decision from the EU-UK Partnership Council.

31 March: Date by which the UK & EU aim to have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a framework for regulatory cooperation on financial services.

1 April: End of grace period for UK supermarkets and trusted suppliers in relation to food safety paperwork when moving agri-food goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

30 June: End of temporary bridging period for the free flow of data from the UK to the EU.

30 September: End of grace period for Great Britain-Northern Ireland trade on chilled meat products., extended from 1st July.
Certain Products of Animal Origin (POAO) will no longer be able to be imported from the EU

31 December: End of 12-month adaptation period for Great Britain businesses to implement new EU regulation in relation to the flow of medicines to Northern Ireland.

1 January 2022: Safety and security declarations have not been required for goods moving into Great Britain from the EU, however, from 1 January 2022, safety and security requirements on these movements will apply.

1 January 2022: UK Importers will no longer be able to delay submitting full customs declarations and the payment of duties when importing non-controlled goods from the EU. Declarations and payment will be due at the point of import.

1 January 2022: All Temporary Storage Facilities must be inventory linked

1st March 2022: Checks on live animal and low risk plants & plant products will take place at Border Control Posts.

30th September 2022: Import declarations via CHIEF cease.

31st March 2023: Exports via CHIEF and NES cease and migrate to CDS system.

A Phased Approach

The UK Government have announced a phased approach to the UK’s exit from the EU, however the key requirement is that all goods imported or exported UK-EU will required customs declarations from 1 January 2021.

The detail of this is:

  • UK export customs declarations to the EU are be required from 1 January 2021.
  • From 1 January 2021 standard UK imports have access to a process known as CFSP EIDR (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures, Entry In Declarants Records).  Certain goods (e.g. excise goods) are excluded and require frontier declarations. Under CFSP EIDR you have up to six months to present the import entry. However, records must be kept of arrivals.
  • Open CFSP EIDR will be turned off from 1 July 2021. Frontier declarations will be required in all cases from 1 July 2021 unless traders have a specific authorisation.
  • SPS (sanitary and phyto-sanitary products of animal origin, plants, vegetables, fruit and produce) controls will be relaxed initially, except for live animals and high-risk plants.
  • From 1st January 2022 SPS will require health certification and pre-notification (IPAFFS) at which time physical checks will also start.
  • S&S (Safety and Security) declarations will be required on UK imports from 1 January 2022.

For anyone trading in or with Northern Ireland the phased approach does not apply to Imports into Northern Ireland (as that is under EU UCC rules) nor does it apply to EU import customs declarations or UK export customs declarations.

Descartes is here for all of your Brexit needs.