There are special procedures for importing goods into the UK. Following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the process for importing goods from the EU effectively mirrors the process for all non-EU international destinations.
However, a number of easements had been in place to help ensure a smooth transition for goods coming from the EU. This included a delay in the requirement for full customs declarations and controls until the end of this year.
And so, from 1 January 2022, businesses will no longer be able to delay making import customs declarations under the Staged Customs Controls rules that have applied during 2021. This will mean that most businesses will have to make declarations and pay relevant tariffs at the point of import.
Affected businesses should ensure that they consider as a matter of urgency how they are going to submit customs declarations and pay any duties. Businesses can appoint an intermediary, such as a customs agent, to deal with their declarations or they can submit them directly; although this can be daunting for businesses unused to the processes involved.
There is a ‘Simplified Declarations’ authorisation from HMRC that allows some goods to be released directly to a specified customs procedure without having to provide a full customs declaration at the point of release. However, this needs specific authorisation from HMRC and there are also other requirements that must be met. An application made now is unlikely to be approved before 1 January 2022.