The UK Parliament has agreed on introducing extensive checks on European goods from January 2021 after the ministers’ firm decisions of not postpone the Brexit after 31st December 2020.
At the same time, covid-19 has triggered a rethink. Companies are now allowed to postpone duties, custom declarations and some controls until July. However, after the UK Parliament’s decision, the EU has declared that border controls over the UK exports will take place from January 2021.
This decision has triggered members of the opposition to affirm that this may weaken even more the UK economy in the light of a pandemic. In response, the Cabinet Office minister stated that, despite the time of a further Brexit extension is over, there will soon be updates on how the controls of the imports will be carried not only to prevent a lack of fresh food but also to make sure that the right amount of taxes will be collected.
According to the “revised plan”, there will be three stages of controlling UK imports whether or not a Brexit deal will be made:
- Standard goods: will be checked on the basis of standard customs regulations (i.e. clothing and electronics), but substances such as alcohol will be checked intensively from the beginning of 2021. UK companies will still have 6 months to submit customs papers and pay tariffs as previously agreed.
- Animal origin goods: companies will need to provide customs authorities in advance with appropriate health paperwork from 1st April 2021.
- There will be a rise in controls over livestock, sanitary goods and plants in key entry points such as Dover from 1st July 2021. By then, all importing companies will have to submit customs and “safety and security” declarations and also pay for their import liabilities.
New border facilities will be available in those key entry points to ensure the controls are carried appropriately.
These new implementations will guarantee to those companies affected by covid-19 extra time to adapt to the new rules. However, what will be decided for the UK export is yet to be pronounced by Brussels. For this purpose, Boris Johnson will attend a meeting with the presidents of the EC, Council and Parliament to discuss further about the Brexit negotiations on June the 22nd.
Photo credit: Frederick Tubiermont