Update on EU import controls for the UK

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The Government has announced a new approach to import controls to help ease the cost of living pressures, confirming that the remaining import controls on EU goods will no longer be introduced this year. Instead, traders will continue to move their goods from the EU to Great Britain as they do now. 

The Government will now review how to implement these remaining controls in an improved way that harnesses innovative new technologies, with further details to be published in a new controls regime targeted to come into force at the end of 2023.

Naturally those businesses who have invested ready for the previous deadlines are up in arms as with new technology systems the delay might make their preparations null and void. Having prepared for controls to come in in July, they’re not best pleased at the chopping and changing as Brexit continues to disrupt the industry.

Specifically, the following import controls which were planned for introduction from July 2022 will now not be introduced, these were: 

  • A requirement for further Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks on EU imports currently at destination to be moved to Border Control Post (BCP)
  • A requirement for safety and security declarations on EU imports
  • A requirement for further health certification and SPS checks for EU imports
  • Prohibitions and restrictions on the import of chilled meats from the EU

However, if a business imports goods from the EU into Great Britain and has chosen to submit safety and security (S&S) declarations on those movements, they can continue to do so on a voluntary basis.
The controls that have already been introduced will remain in place, these are:

  • Highest risk imports of animals, animal products, plants and plant products will continue to apply alongside the customs controls which have already been introduced
  • S&S checks brought in last year remain in place as part of the existing customs controls introduced during 2021
  • If a business imports goods into Great Britain from other non-EU countries it remains a legal obligation that they must submit their S&S Entry Summary declaration (ENS) for those movements

The Government is still committed to closing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system in line with the published dates and encourage everyone to continue preparing to move to the Customs Declaration Service. CHIEF will close for imports after 30 September 2022, and exports after 31 March 2023. The move across to the Customs Declaration Service is still on track.

Work will now continue with industry to assess how the Government can create a safe, secure and efficient process for dealing with EU imports. This will build on existing work already taking place, including the UK Single Trade Window which teams in HMRC have been working hard to deliver as part of the 2025 Border Strategy.


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