Brexit: Further postponement of UK checks for EU agri-food goods | Fieldfisher
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Brexit: Further postponement of UK checks for EU agri-food goods


United Kingdom

The UK government has further postponed checks of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) for certain EU goods entering Great Britain (GB), in the latest update of the Border Operating Model.

Though this does not change the timeline for when import declarations will become required for all imports at the time of the goods’ entry into GB: 1 January 2022. This will end the current easement permitting importers to defer declarations for up to 175 days after the goods arrive.

The timeline is now as follows, indicating the dates that have changed:
  • 1 January 2022:
    • full customs declarations required at the time of import for all goods, although some traders will be eligible for simplified declarations;
    • any applicable tariffs will be payable at the time of import for all goods, although some traders will be eligible to defer payments;
    • pre-notification of agri-food imports;
    • the Goods Vehicle Movement Service will go live. Hauliers importing goods into GB ports operating a ‘pre-lodgement model’ will need to pre-lodge declarations for their goods.
  • 1 July 2022:
    • Safety and Security declarations for imports;
    • certification and physical checks on high-risk animal-by products, all regulated plants and plant products, all meats and meat products, and high-risk foods not of animal origin;
    • live animal checks will begin to move from the point of destination to Border Control Posts, as facilities become available.
  • 1 September 2022:
    • checks on dairy products (previously 1 July).
  • 1 November 2022:
    • all other regulated products of animal origin including composite and fish products (previously 1 July).
Documentary checks will include export health certificates for products of animal origin approved by an official EU vet, and phytosanitary certificates for plants and plant products.

The government has also reminded importers of goods from the EU to GB that – although full declarations are not required until 1 January 2022 – those that have used the delayed declarations procedure since 1 January 2021 still need to have made supplementary declarations within 175 days of the date the goods arrived in GB. Failure to comply may result in losing the option of delaying declarations in future or financial penalties.

These changes do not affect exports from GB to the EU, which have been subject to full customs controls since 1 January 2021, nor imports from the EU into Northern Ireland, which are not subject to customs. Controls on goods shipped from GB to Northern Ireland are subject to negotiations between the UK and the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Fieldfisher's London International Trade Team can help you understand the impact of these changes on your business and help to manage your supply chains and online services.

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