Brexit Update: The Border with the EU, July 2020

July 28, 2020

With the continued focus on the fallout from Covid-19, it’s easy to forget that Brexit is on the horizon.  On 01 January 2021 the transition period with the EU will end and the UK will operate a full, external border as a sovereign nation.

Back in February 2020, the government announced its intention to implement full border controls on exports and imports to and from EU. However, recognising the impact of coronavirus on businesses’ ability to prepare, it has now been announced that new border controls will be introduced in three stages, up until 1 July 2021, giving industry extra time to be ready.

For certain ‘controlled goods’, such as excise, the government’s core model will take effect from 01 January – requiring full customs declarations and, with hopes fading of a Free Trade Agreement, payment of duties and taxes.

For excise and other controlled goods, little will change procedurally from current Rest of World imports.   However, once excise goods have been customs-cleared at port, but are intended to remain under excise duty suspension, the goods must be subject to the Registered Consignor system.  Only registered consignors are permitted to move excise goods in excise duty suspension and use the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) at import. This may be a change of procedure for some UKWA members.

HMRC has also confirmed to UKWA that the new rules that will allow most businesses to use duty deferment without needing to obtain a Customs Comprehensive Guarantee will include deferred excise duty at import.  This represents a significant saving and cash-flow benefit for UKWA members and grocery retailers involved in the large-scale distribution of EU imports of alcohol.

UKWA is urging members to prepare for the new procedures, which are explained in the government’s recent policy document ‘The Border with the European Union – Importing and Exporting Goods’.

See other UKWA support materials, guidelines and fact sheets on leaving the EU here.

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