Customs declarations from 1 January 2021
The Brexit transitional period comes to an end on 31 December 2020. From January 2021, new arrangements apply if you send goods abroad from the UK or bring goods into the UK. It is important that you check what customs declarations you need to make from 1 January 2021 onwards.
Where goods are moved through Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Common Transit may affect the declarations that you need to make.
Sending goods from the UK
The first point to note is that the customs declarations that are required will depend on whether the goods are sent from Great Britain or from Northern Ireland – the rules are not UK-wide.
Sending goods from Great Britain
If you are sending goods from Great Britain to another country, the declarations that are needed will depend on the country to which the goods are being sent.
If you are sending goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, you will not need to make a declaration when you send the goods. However, you may need to make a declaration when the goods arrive in Northern Ireland. If you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you can make use of the Trader Support Service.
From 1 January 2021, if you are sending goods from Great Britain to a country in the EU, before the goods leave Great Britain, a declaration will be needed and also an exit summary (safety and security) declaration if this is not already included in your declaration.
The procedure for sending goods from Great Britain to a country outside the EU (other than Northern Ireland) is unchanged from 1 January 2021 – a declaration is needed before the goods leave Great Britain, and also an exit summary if this is not included in the declaration.
From 1 January 2021, the procedures are the same where goods are sent from Great Britain to a country other than Northern Ireland.
Sending goods from Northern Ireland
In most cases, you will not need to make a customs declaration when sending goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. However, the Government are yet to publish guidance on when declarations may be needed for certain goods.
Unlike goods sent from Great Britain, you will not need to make a customs declaration from 1 January 2021 if you send goods from Northern Ireland to a country in the EU.
However, as now, if you send goods outside the EU from Northern Ireland, you will need to make a customs declaration and you will also need an exit summary if this is not included in your declaration.
Bringing goods into the UK
If you are a UK-based business and you bring goods into the UK, the customs declarations that you need to make from 1 January 2021 onwards will depend on where the goods have come from and whether you are bringing them into Great Britain or Northern Ireland.
Bringing goods into Great Britain
You will not need a customs declaration for most goods that you bring into Great Britain from Northern Ireland. Guidance on the declarations needed for certain goods is yet to be published.
From 1 January 2021, the customs declarations that are needed if you bring goods into Great Britain from an EU country will depend on whether the goods are controlled goods or not. If they are, you must make a customs declaration when the goods arrive. If the goods are not controlled goods, you may be able to delay making declarations and instead record the goods in your own records and tell HMRC about them up to six months later. Guidance on whether you can take advantage of these procedures can be found on the Gov.uk website. This may be an option if you are moving goods from the EU into free circulation in Great Britain between 1 January and 30 June 2021.
A customs declaration and an entry summary are needed for goods brought into Great Britain from outside the EU or Northern Ireland.
Bringing goods into Northern Ireland
From 1 January 2021, you will need to make a customs declaration when goods arrive into Northern Ireland from Great Britain. An entry summary is also required.
However, you will not need a declaration for any goods that you bring into Northern Ireland from the EU. If you bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the EU, other than from Great Britain, as now, you will need a customs declaration and entry summary.
Talk to us
Making customs declarations can be complicated and you may want to appoint someone to handle this on your behalf. Talk to us to find out how we can help.