More Brexit bureaucracy will kick in on 1 January

HMRC crop
HMRC has issued advice to British importers and exporters ahead of customs changes on 1 January.

HMRC has issued a reminder to traders ahead of more customs changes wrought by Brexit coming into force on 1 January 2022.

Companies will no longer be able to delay making import customs declarations under the Staged Customs Controls rules that have applied during 2021. Most customers will have to make declarations and pay relevant tariffs at the point of import.

HMRC advised businesses to consider before 1 January 2022 how they are going to submit their customs declarations and pay any duties that are due. They can appoint an intermediary, such as a customs agent, to deal with declarations on their behalf or they can submit them themselves.

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Some businesses already have a ‘Simplified Declarations’ authorisation from HMRC that allows their goods to be released directly to a specified customs procedure without having to provide a full customs declaration at the point of release.

If companies want to use Simplified Declarations, they’ll need authorisation to do so. It can take up to 60 calendar days to complete the checks needed for this and they will also need to have a Duty Deferment Account in place. Therefore a new application made now may not be authorised before 1 January 2022.

HMRC underlined that traders must use the correct country code for the country of origin and the country of dispatch when they complete their customs declaration. For EU countries, the individual country code of the relevant member state should be used. The EU country code must not be used and will be removed from systems shortly.

Ports and other border locations will be required to control goods moving between Great Britain and the EU. This means that unless goods have a valid declaration and have received customs clearance, they will not be able to be released into circulation, and in most cases will not be able to leave the port.

From 1 January 2022, goods may be directed to an Inland Border Facility for documentary or physical checks if these checks cannot be done at the border.

This deadline will also mean companies have to submit an ‘arrived’ export declaration if the goods are moving through one of the border locations that uses the arrived exports process.

If companies do not follow the correct process from 1 January 2022, the new systems will not permit their goods to leave the country and they will be turned away as they will not hold export clearance.

Those who use a service such as a courier or freight forwarder to move goods need to check their terms and conditions about who will make the declarations, and what other information they need from traders to do this.

The UK’s deal with the EU, called the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), means that the goods that companies import or export may benefit from a reduced rate of Customs Duty (tariff preference). To use this, they need proof that the goods companies import from the EU originate there or export to the EU originate in the UK.

By ‘originate’ HMRC means where goods (or the materials, parts or ingredients used to make them) have been produced or manufactured. It is not where the goods have been shipped or bought from. The goods will need to meet the product specific rules of origin requirements set out in the TCA.

However, VAT-registered importers can continue to use Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) on all customs declarations that require them to account for import VAT, including supplementary declarations, except when HMRC have told companies otherwise.

Further changes will be introduced from 1 July 2022, including: requirements for full safety and security declarations for all imports; new requirements for Export Health Certificates; requirements for Phytosanitary Certificates; and physical checks on sanitary and phytosanitary goods at Border Control Posts.

Tags : Brexitbusinesscustomsexportimport
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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