Businesses told to prepare for “full customs control”

Businesses should use the next six months to prepare for “full customs control”, the Government has warned.

The report, published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), comes as customs changes are due to come into effect from 01 January 2022.

According to the tax authority, more than 160,000 businesses who import or export goods to or from the EU will receive a letter in the post advising them of the next steps they need to take.

Several customs changes will come into force over the next six months, starting with Export Health Certificate requirements from 01 October 2021, and then full customs control from 01 January 2022.

The former will require pre-notification of the export of all products of animal origin, certain animal by-products and high-risk food not of animal origin. The latter, meanwhile, will require businesses to follow the same process for exporting or importing any goods to or from the EU as for the rest of the world.

In preparation, traders should consider appointing a specialist customs intermediary or train staff to handle supplementary declarations and customs paperwork, HMRC said.

Commenting on the report, Sophie Dean and Katherine Green, Directors General, Borders and Trade, HMRC, said: “We know how challenging it is to get used to so many changes, and we appreciate how much that UK businesses have done already.

“HMRC is here to help people adapt to the adjustments, and over the next few months we will carry on reaching out to businesses to help them get the right support and guidance to continue trading with the EU.”

Click here to access the letter.

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