The HMRC announced last week that it would be contacting over 160,000 businesses to inform them of the steps they need to take before the beginning of 2022 to ensure that they can continue to trade with the EU. Those of you who kept up with the debacle following Brexit will remember that the UK government opted to push back the complete implementation of the new Customs Control rules from June 2021 to January 2022. It is these rules that the HMRC are imploring sellers to prepare for. This article will provide a brief overview of the new rules and will also summarise the advice from the HMRC on what you can do to prepare.

What Are The Upcoming Customs Rule Changes & Why Were They Postponed?

As you know, the UK left the EU at the beginning of 2021. Consequently, the UK introduced custom checks on most products, such as controlled goods and alcohol and tobacco. In order to give companies time to adapt to the new customs control requirements, the UK initially postponed checks and tariffs on certain goods for 6 months. Companies would still have to make customs import declarations, but they could defer submitting these declarations by 6 months. This was then extended to 12 months (January 1st 2022).

The first change for the customs control coming into effect is that exporters will have to provide pre-notification of the export of all animal origin and certain animal by-products. This will be required from the 1st of October 2021. Also, from this date, if traders haven’t made a full customs declaration for an exports consignment, their haulier or carrier will need to submit a standalone exit summary declaration providing safety and security information.

The next change, which will affect every exporter, is that the process for importing or exporting goods from or to the EU will be the same as the rest of the world. This essentially boils down to making supplementary declarations. Here’s what you can do to prepare for this.

Making Supplementary Declarations For The New Customs Control Rules

If you have been importing goods using delayed declarations you should now be preparing to start making supplementary declarations from the beginning of 2022. Once you import something to the UK, you will have 175 days to make the declaration.

Sellers, typically use a customs intermediary to accomplish this. Indeed, if you are based out side of the UK you will have to have a UK-based customs representative to deal with customs and make declarations for you. You or your representative must have a duty deferment account in order to make your payments.

There is a simplified declaration procedure, but in order to use this you must be established in the UK, have a good customs compliance record and be able to show evidence that you will be able to stay within your account limit.

Conclusion – HMRC advise You To Appoint A Customs Intermediary

It is always complicated to deal with customs, but perhaps it has never been more difficult to do so in the UK following Brexit. You should strongly consider appointing a customs intermediary, especially if you are dealing with goods that require special licenses. The HMRC will also be contacting you regularly with advice on what else you need to do before the beginning of 2022. We will try to keep you up to date on all the latest developments leading up to the next stage of the Border Control model.

If you are a business who participates in cross border ecommerce, or importing of any kind, we would be more than happy to help you comply with any new guidance from HMRC. We can also help you register for UK VAT, the UK VAT deferral scheme, file your UK and EU VAT returns, and help you comply with VAT in case your account faces any issues.

At J&P, helping your business is our passion, and we understand that companies across the UK are at risk now more than ever. We are here to support you through this post-Brexit period, so please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0161 637 1080or send an e-mail to