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Government scrap Brexit border controls

The government has confirmed it will not request or accept an extension to the Brexit transition period and is scrapping full post-Brexit border controls, deferring customs declarations and tariff payments for six months to July 2021.

In a significant policy U-turn on Friday, Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, has accepted that businesses cannot be expected to cope with Covid-19 and simultaneously face the prospect of disruption at the border at the end of the post-Brexit transition period.

Instead of full checks, the UK government will now introduce a temporary light-touch regime at UK ports such as Dover for incoming EU goods in three stages, under both a ‘deal’ and ‘no-deal’ scenario.

The EU will implement full checks on UK exports rom 1st January 2021

Full import controls were due to be imposed at the end of the transition period from the 1st January 2021, but the UK will now implement the new border controls in three stages up until 1st July 2021.

In response, the EU said it would implement full checks on UK exports at the start of 2021.

From 1st January 2021; traders importing standard goods will need to prepare for basic customs requirements, such as keeping sufficient records of imported goods, and will have up to six months to complete customs declarations

Importers will have access to a process known as CFSP EIDR (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures, Entry In Declarants Records).

Under CFSP EIDR importers will have up to six months to present the import entry, but they must keep records of all imports.

While tariffs will need to be paid, payments can be deferred until the customs declaration has been made and businesses will need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods.

There will be checks on controlled goods like alcohol and tobacco.

There will also be physical checks at the point of destination, or other approved premises, on all high-risk live animals and plants.

From April; all animal products (meat, pet food, honey, milk, egg products, regulated plants and plant products) will require pre-notification and the relevant health documentation.

From July; CFSP EIDR will be turned off and traders will have to make declarations at the point of import and pay relevant tariffs, unless they use our CFSP, or have applied for their own CFSP accreditation.

Full Safety and Security declarations will be required, while for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) commodities, there will be an increase in physical checks and samples, with checks for animals, plants and their products Border Control Posts.

The government also committed to building new border facilities for carrying out checks and will build new inland sites where these checks and other activities will take place.