The rules for imports have changed for businesses moving goods from the EU to Great Britain (GB). They have also changed for UK businesses who sell goods in the EU.
Businesses will need to adapt for import control changes which took effect from 1 January 2022.
What are the new import requirements for 2022?
Customs declarations on imports from EU to GB
Customs declarations on imports from the EU* to GB must now be completed at the time you or your courier/freight forwarder bring them into GB.
This means you can no longer delay making import customs declarations.
Since 1 January 2021, businesses had been able to delay import declarations for a maximum of 175 days from when the goods arrived in the country. Now, full declarations must be made at the time of importing and cannot be delayed.
Visit the government website and follow the step-by-step guide to make sure you are following the new customs declaration rules. The guide provides information on how to bring goods into the UK from any country, including how much tax and duty you need to pay and whether you need to get a licence or certificate.
The new rules do not apply to imports from the EU into Northern Ireland.
*Customs declarations for goods moving from Ireland to Great Britain can still be delayed for up to 175 days as before.
Pre-notifying imports for Sanitary and Phytosanitary goods
Pre notification is required to import certain Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods, such as meat or plants, to GB from the EU*. You must register for the relevant IT systems for animal and plant products to ensure your business is prepared for prenotification requirements.
Find out more about the different types of goods
The new rules do not apply to imports of these products from the EU into Northern Ireland.
*The change does not yet apply to goods moving from Ireland to Great Britain.
Rules of origin for EU-UK goods
If you sell goods to the EU or buy goods from the EU and bring them into the UK, and they meet the rules of origin requirements, you will be able to use preferential tariffs.
To benefit from the preferential tariffs, you must have proof that the goods you import into the UK from the EU originate there and goods you export to the EU originate in the UK.
Throughout 2021, you have been allowed to export goods to the EU using reduced tariffs and get supplier declarations afterwards, to give you more time. You must now have supplier declarations (where required) at the time you export your goods.
If you cannot prove the origin of the products you’re importing or exporting, the full rate of customs duty will be charged.
If you’re moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, rules of origin work differently. Contact the Trader Support Service for up-to-date guidance and support.
How can your business adapt to these import control changes?
Here are some useful links which will help you to find out what you and your business need to do to comply with the new import controls
Visit the government website and follow the step-by-step guide to adapt to import control changes.
Find out more from the government about how to adapt to the changes to Rules of Origin.
To check if you need to pre-notify find out more about
For practical support with exporting your products, contact the Export Support Service online or by phone.
Export Support Service
Looking for clear and up-to-date information on selling products or services to Europe? Access the UK Government’s online and helpline service.
What further import control changes are due to be made in 2022?
It is expected that further changes will be made 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
- physical checks on sanitary and phytosanitary goods at Border Control Posts
Further information about these changes will be provided by the government nearer the time but if you are business that imports or exports goods between the EU and GB then do be aware that further changes are coming.
Importing, inflation and insurance
Whilst all these changes are complex for your business to adjust to and signify a new way of working, it is also important to be mindful of other impacts importing can have on your business. The costs of goods is going up. So, goods that you import and which you hold within your business will have a higher value. You’ll need to check that you have an adequate level of insurance and sums insured to account for the increased cost of goods.
We are seeing insurers uplifting their indexation (the amount that is used to increase the amount of insurance cover you have on an annual basis, to help combat the effects of inflation and under insurance) particularly in the property area. As an insured, you need to be mindful of cost inflation. Without the correct level of cover or sums insured you may find yourself in a position of underinsurance if you do come to claim, which could affect your claim and any associated insurance pay-out.