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The U.K. has decided to postpone post-Brexit import checks on goods coming from the EU

By  Sam Blakeman  on  15 Mar 2021
"Whilst the news is a welcome relief for importers, they should utilise the additional time to implement a software solution and streamline their customs reporting obligations. The last thing you want is to be approaching the December 2021 deadline with a full years’ worth of import declarations to wrestle with."
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Positive news has been released by the UK Government regarding changes to post-Brexit import checks. UK traders importing goods from the EU have been given extra time to defer their declarations and to provide additional details and checks for their imports.

Many UK traders have been confused by the staged approach to import procedures, wrongly believing that the deferred declaration scheme means they don’t need to make import declarations at all until July 2020. We have had several enquiries since the latest announcement asking if the changes mean traders can now delay acting until January 2021.

The answer is categorically no. Since the end of transition, all imports to the UK from the EU require an import declaration. HMRC introduced the deferred declaration scheme for Non-Controlled Imports, allowing traders to keep a commercial record of their imports and follow up with a supplementary declaration up to six months later. This latest announcement has extended the deferment period until 31st December 2021.

Traders MUST fulfil their import declaration requirements either by using an agent to make declarations on their behalf or saving time and money making their own in-house declarations with a simple software product such as Langdon CustomsCloud™.


UK businesses looking to streamline their declaration process and avoid delays at the frontier or costly customs brokerage fees can take advantage of Langdon CustomsCloud™.

Our streamlined cloud product allows importers of EU goods to complete customs declarations after the goods have arrived, avoiding bottlenecks at the ports and allowing users to fit the declaration requirements around their own internal operations.

Here's the latest news:

The second and third phases of the UK’s Border Operating Model have been extended from April and July to 1st October 2021 and 1st January 2022 respectively. Despite the UK Government insisting that the border is ready for these changes, they have communicated that bouncing back from Covid lockdowns should be the priority and so are easing the burden on UK importers as the country begins to open up.

The new timetable includes postponement of UK border controls for some imports such as health checks and phytosanitary certificates, along with an additional six-month allowance for companies to use the current delayed declarations procedure.

The latest announcement is great news for those importing Agri-Food, but also benefits all UK importers of EU goods as they can continue to utilise simplified procedures and deferred declarations for a longer period.


The changes to the Border Operating timetable are as follows:

Stage 2: April 1st has been pushed back to October 1st. The original timeline requiring health certificates and pre-notification of products of animal origin (POAO), certain animal by-products (ABP), and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO) has been postponed to 1st October. At that point, these products must be pre-notified using IPAFFS at least 24 hours before arrival in GB. They must also be accompanied by a Health Certificate, which the EU exporter must obtain from its national authorities.

Stage 3: Deferred declarations and border controls originally scheduled to take effect as part of Stage 3 on 1st July 2021 have been postponed to 1st January 2022.

  1. The deferred declarations scheme allows companies to record the import of standard goods in their own commercial records followed by the filing of a supplementary declaration. With this extension, companies have six months to file a supplementary declaration for imports up to and including 31st December 2021.

  2. Physical checks on Product of Animal Origan (POAO), certain ABP, HRFNAO, and high-risk plants are postponed until 1st January 2022. After that, these products must enter GB through a port where an appropriate Border Control Post (BCP) is located.

  3. Entry Summary (ENS)/Safety & Security Import Declarations must be submitted to the UK’s S&S GB beginning 1st January 2022.

  4. Phytosanitary certificates and pre-notification will be required for low-risk plants and plant products and documentary checks for these items will be performed as of 1st January 2022.

Additionally, physical checks from July 1st  have been pushed back to March 1st 2022. 

If you have any questions about how your company can prepare from a customs perspective, Langdon Systems' are here to help.

Please email us on or call us on 01942 202202.

 Sam Blakeman, Sales Manager at Langdon Systems