News & Trends – Brexit

EU and UK publish Brexit recommendations for action


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The European Union and Great Britain have each published recommendations for action for the period after the Brexit transition phase. Both sides urge industry to prepare for far-reaching changes.

Half a year before the economic break after the Brexit, Great Britain and the EU have issued guidelines for the time after the Brexit. In the course of this, it was pointed out that many things were inevitable, such as customs formalities, even if a trade pact was still in place.

Although Great Britain left the EU at the end of January, it will still be a member of the internal market and the customs union until the end of 2020. Even with a possible trade agreement, customs declarations for all goods from Great Britain would still be required under EU law from 1 January 2021, according to the 35-page paper published by the EU Commission.

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In addition, British companies will no longer be allowed to offer transport services in the EU from next year, unless otherwise specified in a contract. The paper lists dozens of other points with important changes.

Great Britain with 3-stage model for customs

For its part, Great Britain has pointed out that the United Kingdom, as a sovereign nation, will operate a complete external border. This means that all trade in goods between Britain and the EU will be controlled. To help businesses prepare for the new situation, Britain has announced that it will introduce the new border controls in three stages by 1 July 2021.

According to the paper, from 1 January 2021, companies must prepare for basic customs requirements, such as keeping sufficient records of imported goods when importing standard goods, which can include everything from clothing to electronics. For example, they will also need to consider how to account for and pay VAT on imported goods. Traders will then have up to six months to complete customs declarations.

From 1 April 2021, all products of animal origin (POAO) and all regulated plants and plant products will have to be pre-registered and will require the relevant health documents.

In the third phase, starting in July 2021, companies will have to submit complete customs declarations for their goods at the point of import and pay the corresponding customs duties. For goods subject to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls, the relevant documents must be presented to the border inspection posts and there will be an increase in physical checks and sampling. SPS controls for animals, plants and their products will take place directly at the border inspection posts of Great Britain and not at the place of destination.

We can only give a few selected examples here from the guidelines issued by the European Union and Great Britain. If you want to be well prepared for the Brexit, contact us today. The Gerlach customs specialists will find the right solutions for you and your company.

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