United Kingdom will start customs controls on 1 January 2021
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United Kingdom will start customs controls on 1 January 2021

Credit: dannyman (CC SA-BY 2.0)

The United Kingdom will start phased customs controls for goods coming from the European Union on 1 January 2021, the British Embassy in Brussels announced.

On Friday, the UK has formally informed the EU that it does not wish to extend the transitional period, which was set to end at the end of 2020, after Brexit. No agreement on future relations between the two has been reached yet.

The UK has taken a decision on customs controls, according to Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove. Goods exported from the EU will be subject to customs controls and import duties from 2021.

However, these will be phased in to give businesses affected by the coronavirus more time to prepare.

From 1 January 2021, traders importing standard goods will have to meet some basic requirements, such as keeping lists of everything they have imported.

They will then have up to six months to file a declaration. Import duties will have to be paid on all goods, but payment can be postponed until the declaration has been made.

From April 2021, all products of animal origin (such as meat, pet food, honey, milk and eggs) and plants must be registered in advance. Specific documents will also be required for the export of these goods.

From July 2021, all traders will have to declare and pay import duties immediately at the time of import.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times