Businesses should prepare for import checks

Businesses should prepare for import checks

Published: February 11th, 2020

Businesses are being urged to prepare for import controls on EU goods at the border after the transition period ends on December 31 2020.

The checks mean all traders in the EU and GB will have to submit customs declarations and be liable to goods’ checks.

The move was announced by Michael Gove MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, at a Border Delivery Group stakeholder event on February 10.

Business can prepare for border controls by making sure they have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, and also looking into how they want to make declarations, such as using a customs agent.

The Government has said that it will ensure facilitations currently available to rest of the world traders will also be open to those trading between GB and EU.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has extended the deadline for businesses to apply for customs support funding to 31 January 2021.

The scheme, first announced in September 2019, had been due to close on 31 January 2020. To date, applications have been made for around £18.5 million out of a possible £26 million – meaning there is at least £7.5 million left to claim from HMRC.

As well as supporting recruitment and improved IT capability, the money applied for so far could potentially fund nearly 15,000 training courses to help traders submit customs declarations.

Jesse Norman MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:

"The UK will be leaving the single market and customs union at the end of 2020, and businesses will need to prepare to submit customs declarations.

Customs agents, freight forwarders and fast parcel operators can take advantage of the extended period by applying for grants to help them scale up and get ready. Customs processes can be handled by a business directly, but most businesses currently trading outside Europe use a customs agent."

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