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Irish Exporters: Brexit-related changes to UK Import and Customs Controls due to be introduced on 1 January 2022 have been postponed for goods from Ireland.

However, these new requirements will apply for UK imports from other EU Member States and for goods transported from EU countries to Ireland via Great Britain either by transits or via distribution hub.

Five vital things to know before 1 January 2022

  • Hauliers who have not yet registered for the Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS) or applied for a GB Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number should do so immediately. Information on how to obtain an EORI number is available here. Information on how to register for GVMS is available here.
  • From 1 January 2022 all goods leaving GB by ferry must be registered on GVMS before departure. This applies to goods coming to Ireland and to traders using the Landbridge in either direction. Failing to engage with GVMS and other UK systems will disrupt your trade and may lead to severe delays, including the possibility of being refused permission to enter ports or board ships.
  • Postponement of the new requirement for pre-notification of SPS products ONLY APPLIES to those exporters not already subject to existing pre-notification requirements. Existing EU requirements will continue to apply.
  • Where a transit begins in another EU Member State and moves through GB to a destination in Ireland, pre-notification of all SPS products (POAO and ABP) is required on the Imports of Products, Animal, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) at least four hours before the products arrive into Great Britain (GB). All plants and plant products categorised as ‘regulated and notifiable’ will need to be pre-notified on either  IPAFFS or the PEACH system. There is also a requirement to inform GB authorities by email once the consignment has left GB. All consignments must be registered on GVMS.
  • The postponement of the changes due to take effect on 1 January 2022 is temporary. Irish businesses exporting to the UK are strongly advised to continue to prepare and be ready for the full introduction of UK import and customs controls in 2022. Irish businesses should be mindful that the lead-in time to their commencement once announced, could be quite short.

Updated 20 December 2021:

  • As a result of Brexit, the UK planned to introduce new import controls on goods coming from the EU on 1 January 2022, 1 July 2022, 1 September 2022 and 1 November 2022.
  • On 15 December 2021, the UK Government announced that it was postponing, until further notice, planned UK requirements for imports from Ireland that had been due to begin on 1 January 2022. This means that current arrangements will remain in place for goods moving directly from Ireland to Great Britain until further notice.
  • There is a dedicated page on UK Import Controls here.

As such, the requirement for compliance with full UK import formalities, including customs declarations and controls, will not be a pre-boarding requirement for ferries going from Ireland to Great Britain at this time.

Exporters of agri food products moving goods from Ireland to Great Britain, who are not already subject to pre-notification requirements, will not have to pre-notify UK authorities on UK import systems, either on the Imports of Products, Animal, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) or PEACH system for plant products at this time.

What changes will take place on 1 January

The UK will proceed to introduce new import requirements for all inbound goods from other EU Member States from 1 January 2022. Further information can be found here. From this date, UK import declarations for goods coming from an EU country other than Ireland can no longer be delayed and instead must be submitted prior to the departure of the goods from the EU. In most cases, particularly where Roll-On Roll-Off ferry services are used to move goods, the Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS) must be used.

As a result, Irish importers moving goods across the landbridge should note that new requirements will apply to all goods moving from other EU countries to Ireland via Great Britain from 1 January 2022. This is in addition to the existing requirement to move such goods under the transit procedure and to engage with EU systems such as the Pre-Boarding Notification system in Ireland and SI Brexit requirements in France and the GVMS system in the UK. Further information from the UK Government on the new requirements for goods moving from other EU Member States to Ireland via Great Britain can be found here.

Export declarations, which must include safety and security (EXS) data, have been required for goods leaving the UK since 1 January 2021. EXS declarations have been required for empty vehicles leaving the UK since 1 October 2021. These requirements remain unchanged. However, all exports from the UK by ferry will be required to use the GVMS system from 1 January 2022 before departing from the UK to the EU, including Ireland.

In addition to the necessary customs formalities, from 1 January, exporters of all agri-food products exporting from all EU countries except Ireland, to or through Great Britain need to have their UK importer pre-notify the UK authorities of these goods, prior to their entry into GB. Further information can be found on the dedicated page on UK Import Controls here. More information from the UK Government is available here.

A range of Government supports are available, including training and grants, to help your business deal with these changes. However, you will also need to engage with your UK importer and with the UK authorities.

When will the postponed changes be introduced for UK imports from Ireland?

These planned controls for goods moving directly from Ireland to Great Britain have been postponed, not removed and Irish businesses exporting to the UK should continue to prepare for the introduction of new UK import and customs controls in 2022. The timing of the introduction of the new controls is not known at this stage, but Irish businesses should ensure that they are fully prepared for the commencement of these controls and be mindful of the fact that the lead-in time to their commencement, once announced, could be quite short.

In preparation, hauliers should continue to register for the Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS) and to apply for a GB Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. Information on how to obtain an EORI number is available here. Information on how to register for GVMS is available here. UK safety and security declarations (ENS) are not required until 1 July 2022.

Existing requirements, such as full EU export formalities and the requirement to use the transit procedure when moving goods through the UK to the EU, in place since 1 January 2021, will continue to apply.

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UK Requirement Original Proposed Date Revised Date of Introduction
Full Customs declarations and controls 1 January 2022 Postponed until further notice for goods moving directly from Ireland to Great Britain. Requirements will apply for UK imports from other EU Member States and for goods transported from EU countries to Ireland via Great Britain either under transit or vi a distribution hub in GB.
Pre-notification of SPS goods 1 October 2021 Postponed until further notice for goods moving directly from Ireland to Great Britain unless it was already in place. Requirements will apply for UK imports from other EU Member States and for goods transported from EU countries to Ireland via Great Britain either under transit or vi a distribution hub in GB
Safety and security declarations on entry to the UK (ENS declarations) 1 January 2022 1 Juy 2022
Export Health/ Phytosanitary Certificates and physical/identity checks on animal by-products; plant and plant products; meat and meat products; high-risk food not of animal origin 1 January 2022 1 Juy 2022
Export Health Certificates and physical checks on all dairy products 1 January 2022 1 September 2022
Export Health Certificates and physical checks on all remaining products of animal origin including composite and fish products 1 January 2022 1 November 2022

Brexit

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020 after both sides concluded a Withdrawal Agreement to facilitate an orderly departure.

The Withdrawal Agreement provided for a transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020.

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement came into effect at the end of the transition period. The Agreement provides for tariff-free, quota-free trade and for sectoral cooperation in a number of important areas. The European Commission has provided more information on the Agreement on its website .

As the UK is no longer part of the EU Single Market and Customs Union new procedures apply for businesses moving goods to, from or through the UK, excluding Northern Ireland. The Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland , which forms part of the Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the EU and the UK in 2019, means that no new procedures apply to goods moving between Northern Ireland and Ireland or the other Member States of the European Union.

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