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Brexit and UK Trade- What You Should Know

On the 11th March, Michael Gove, Minister for the UK Cabinet Office, announced a further six-month extension on import declarations completions and border checks until 1 January 2022, acknowledging the struggles of UK and EU businesses to come to terms with the new, post-Brexit customs paperwork and the effects of the latest covid lockdown.

From January, importers of goods into the UK will by default have to make full frontier declarations at the UK border, and pay any duties that are payable, before goods are released into free circulation.  

If you have not imported goods into the UK before, here are the essential things that you need to know: 

  • When goods enter the UK, an import will take place. This means customs compliance obligations then arise. 
  • If the goods are ordinarily subject to VAT in the UK then import VAT will be payable at the same rate. 
  • If the goods are subject to customs duty, then this will also be payable at this time. 
  • During 2021, the UK also requires INTRASTAT Arrivals returns to be filed on imports of goods from the EU.

The key document that enables the import to take place is the customs declaration. This is the official document that gives details of the goods that are being imported. There are over 50 fields of data that need to be completed on the declaration.

In order to submit a customs declaration you will need to appoint a customs compliance provider who will complete and submit the declaration on your behalf. Typically, the cost of submitting a declaration is between £15 – £55 per declaration, which could represent significant additional costs for businesses. 

For more information and advice on preparing your business for Brexit, please fill in the form below or contact

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