Did you know that a raft of post-Brexit customs changes came into effect on 1st January 2022?

If you import or export goods with the EU, you need to get up to speed with the changes as soon as possible, otherwise you could quickly experience problems with your supply chains.

So, what are the changes that took place on 1 January 2022? HMRC has published a detailed news story, but to help you we’ve summarised the main changes in this post.

How do EU imports currently work?

Before the changes, you could import most goods from the EU without providing ‘up-front’ customs paperwork. Instead, you could make customs declarations and pay any tariffs within 6 months of the import date. Likewise, you could pay import VAT at a later date using postponed VAT accounting.

What are the main customs changes? 

From 1st January 2022, you now have to make customs declarations and pay any relevant tariffs at the point of import. You can either submit your customs declarations yourself or use a customs agent (or other intermediary) to do this for you.

It’s important to be prepared for this new system, otherwise you could see disruption to your supply chain. Unless your goods have a valid declaration and customs clearance, they will not be released. Also, from 1st January, the goods may now be sent to an Inland Border Facility for physical and documentary checks, if these can’t be done at the border.

Rules of origin

The new system also has ‘rules of origin’. If you can prove that exports to the EU originated in the UK, or that imports from the EU originated there, then you may benefit from a reduced Customs Duty (tariff preference).

You can claim tariff preference if you have proof of origin. This can be a statement on origin, made out by the exporter, or an importer’s own knowledge.

If you export goods to the EU and you provide the importer with a statement on origin, you may also need to have a supplier declaration in place. Now, from 1st January 2022, you must have supplier declarations (where needed) at the time you export your goods.

Postponed VAT accounting

One bit of good news is that you can still use postponed VAT accounting, which can help with your cashflow. You can find more details about this here.

Upcoming customs changes

There will be additional changes from 1st July 2022, which will cover in detail when we know more about them. The most important change will concern full safety and security declarations for all imports. Others include new requirements for Export Health Certificates and Phytosanitary Certificates. There’ll also be physical check on sanitary and phytosanitary products.

Customs changes 2022: where to find help

If you need help with the accounting aspect of this latest customs change (such as advice on VAT), do speak to your THP account manager. For more help with customs requirements and paperback, you’ll find a wealth of information on the Gov.uk website. Two particularly helpful resources are the step-by-step guide to exporting goods from the UK and the companion guide to importing goods into the UK.



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