EU Trade Tips from HMRC

We are aware that a number of local businesses conduct trade with the EU, either Importing or Exporting goods – or both. The Government has announced (28 April 2022) a new approach to import controls to help ease the cost of living pressures, confirming that the remaining import controls on EU goods will no longer be introduced this year. Instead, traders will continue to move their goods from the EU to Great Britain as they do now.
The Government will now review how to implement these remaining controls in an improved way that harnesses innovative new technologies, with further details to be published in a new controls regime targeted to come into force at the end of 2023. Specifically, the following controls which were planned for introduction from July 2022 will now not be introduced, these were:

  • a requirement for further Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks on EU imports currently at destination to be moved to Border Control Post (BCP)
  • a requirement for safety and security declarations on EU imports
  • a requirement for further health certification and SPS checks for EU imports
  • prohibitions and restrictions on the import of chilled meats from the EU

However, if a business imports goods from the EU into Great Britain and has chosen to submit safety and security (S&S) declarations on those movements, they can continue to do so on a voluntary basis. The controls that have already been introduced will remain in place, these are:

  • highest risk imports of animals, animal products, plants and plant products will continue to apply alongside the customs controls which have already been introduced
  • S&S checks brought in last year remain in place as part of the existing customs controls introduced during 2021
  • if a business imports goods into Great Britain from other non-EU countries it remains a legal obligation that they must submit their S&S Entry Summary declaration (ENS) for those movements

HMRC is still committed to closing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system in line with the published dates and encourage everyone to continue preparing to move to the Customs Declaration Service. CHIEF will close for imports after 30 September 2022, and exports after 31 March 2023. The move across to the Customs Declaration Service is still on track.
Work will now continue with industry to assess how HMRC can create a safe, secure and efficient process for dealing with EU imports. This will build on existing work already taking place, including the UK Single Trade Window which teams in HMRC have been working to deliver as part of the 2025 Border Strategy.

Businesses with specific question about importing, exporting or customs reliefs call HMRC’s Customs and International Trade helpline on 0300 322 9434. The helpline is open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm at weekends.

The Export Support Service is a new helpline for UK businesses to get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe. The service is billed as a ‘one-stop-shop’ bringing together UK government information, making it easier for exporters to access advice and support.   

Other helpful facilities include: