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Doing business with EU countries: Adapting to changes to importing and exporting

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by Startacus Admin


Small business and still a little unsure about importing and exporting to the EU? Glen Foster, small business director, Xero shares some guidance...

photo-1622151834677-70f982c9adefAccording to Xero’s Future of Small Business report, 35% of UK small businesses said they wanted to increase the number of national and international territories they traded with this year. There are new controls in place for those moving goods to and from EU member states so the arrival of goods will be delayed if these new rules aren’t adhered to. 

With this in mind - if you’re a business moving goods between the UK and EU countries, it’s important to be aware of various reporting requirements that have been introduced as a result of the UK leaving the EU Customs Union back in January. We recently heard from the Global trade specialists at Deloitte who provided the following guidance for small businesses: 

Current changes to be aware of

Since 1st January, businesses in the UK that wish to trade with the EU need to make an Export Declaration. The requirement for Import Declarations is detailed in the UK government Border Operating Model (BOM), which also introduces additional import controls over a staged timeline.

The fundamental change is the requirement to submit a Customs Declaration when you import or export goods. To be able to submit Customs Declarations, there are a few things that businesses will need to have set up and to know, such as a UK EORI number and the value of your goods.

Between January 2021 and December 2021, businesses importing non-controlled goods will have three options for submitting customs declarations - use of delayed declarations if applicable, make a simplified frontier declaration at the point of entry to the UK or make a full declaration at the point of import.

Businesses importing non-controlled goods will then have up to 6 months to complete a supplementary declaration from the point of import. From January 2021, businesses importing controlled goods and excise goods (such as alcohol and tobacco products) need to make a full customs declaration at the point of import into the UK 

It’s vital that businesses familiarise themselves with the requirements and are able to comply with the export rules and regulations of the EU Member States. Necessary processes and documentation will need to be completed before goods can be moved to the country of destination.

photo-1600494573555-a5ead7b7ee23Without a customs declaration, goods will be stopped at the border. All processes and documentation will need to be completed before goods can be moved to the country of destination.

Looking ahead

From October 2021, additional requirements for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods will be implemented (e.g. animals and animal products, plant and plant products). Pre-notification is required for importing all Products of Animal Origin (POAO), certain animal by-products (ABP) and High-Risk Food Not of Animal Origin (HRFNAO).

From January 2022, the implementation of the UK / EU Border Operating Model is due to be completed. Businesses should make customs declarations and pay any relevant tariffs on all controlled and non-controlled goods.

From March 2022, all physical sanitary and phytosanitary checks will be carried out at Border Control Posts (BCPs). Physical checks on all live animals and low risk plants and plant products will take place at BCPs.

For further information visit here.


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Published on: 18th October 2021

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