Exports and Imports in the UK: new customs rules now in force 

From Saturday 1st January, full customs controls and checks are in place for all goods entering Great Britain from the EU. The much-trailed changes started this weekend (1 January 2022) – except for goods imported from Ireland, rules for which are delayed as negotiations on the Northern Ireland Protocol continue.

Whilst the reports so far are generally quiet and not on the scale of last January’s mess with customs, the Institute of Export (IOE) warned BPMA members of potential challenges with the change in customs rules as many carriers had still not registered for the new GB controls. Urging members not to get caught out, the recommendation has been to check up on all incoming imports into the UK to ensure all is in order and avoid delays. 

What does this mean for importers? 

Import customs declarations can no longer be delayed and are mandatory. You can complete these declarations using an agent but the IOE reminds all importers the legal responsibility for the accuracy of the data falls to the importer. 

GB Port requirements – exports 

All movers of goods between GB and the EU need to ensure they identify the GB port through which their goods will leave GB as the processes to be followed now vary port-by-port. Processes will vary dependent on whether the port is using the Government IT system GVMS (Goods Vehicle Movement Service) or inventory linking systems and whether export declarations are being lodged on CHIEF or CDS customs declarations systems. 

Physical inspections – exports 

For goods moving through Dover, Eurotunnel or Holyhead, the declarant will need to tell their haulier to present the goods at the nearest inland border facility.
With COVID cases hitting all time highs, all ports had already put the alert out before Christmas that staffing was likely to be affected as we have seen in other areas of the economy. 

Fingers crossed we will not see the carnage of last January and this latest stage of the transition is smoother than the last. BPMA members can log into member Resources and visit the Export Support section for more guidance and help on imports and exports. 

For a more detailed update on the new rules now in force, join the BPMA webinar on Thursday 6th January at 12:30. If you are already registered for previous webinars that ran at the end of 2021, you will receive a reminder. If you would like to register for this and future sessions, please use this registration link