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Customs regulations

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Several customs-related statutory instruments have been made.

The Taxation (Cross-border Trade) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations, SI 2021/697, come into force on 1 July 2021 and extend the staged customs controls, which have been in place since 1 January 2021 and were due to end on 30 June 2021. They give importers more time to prepare for full customs declaration requirements from the beginning of 2022 onwards, allowing them to continue (if they so wish) delaying submitting supplementary declarations up to 175 days from importation for imports made until the end of 2021.

The regulations also:

  • amend the Value Added Tax (Miscellaneous and Transitional Provisions, Amendment and Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations, SI 2020/1495 to extend the date of mandatory postponed VAT accounting for VAT-registered businesses using the transitional EIDR simplified customs declaration process to 31 December 2021;
  • extend the period in which operators or consignees, who import oil, gas and electricity through pipelines and cables (referred to as ‘fixed transport installations’) make a supplementary declaration under the EIDR procedure in relation to a fixed-transport installation, to entries made in the operators’ commercial records between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021; and
  • amend the Customs (Export) (EU Exit) Regulations, SI 2019/108 to increase the value threshold from £900 to £1,000 for posted goods exported outside the UK that cannot be declared by conduct (ie exporting goods outside the UK using the UK’s postal service).

The Customs Tariff (Preferential Trade Arrangements and Tariff Quotas) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No 3) Regulations, SI 2021/693, make amendments to the Customs (Tariff Quotas) (EU Exit) Regulations, SI 2020/1432 to implement the changes to tariff quota volumes resulting from negotiations with the USA under Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). These have resulted in some limited changes to the tariff rate quota volumes set out in the UK’s draft Goods Schedule XIX, which need to be reflected in legislation via an updated version of the relevant reference document before they can be implemented.

These changes need to enter into force on 1 July as this date is the start of the quota year for the majority of the affected quotas. The changes will be reflected in the updated reference document Tariff quotas, version 2.1, dated 8 June 2021.

Provisions are also made to update the preferential import duty rates, including the related Rules of Origin requirements, in the reference documents associated with a number of the UK’s free trade arrangements.

The Customs Tariff (Establishment) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations, SI 2021/661, came into force on 10 June 2021 and amend the definition of ‘Tariff of the United Kingdom’ in SI 2020/1430 to refer to version 1.4 of the tariff published on 28 May 2021. The updated tariff document corrects earlier errors by inserting a limited number of commodity codes and the rates of import duty which were erroneously omitted from previous versions. Those amendments relate to chemicals, rubber gaskets and tropical fruit.

The Customs (Declaration Modification) Regulations, SI 2021/695, come into force on 1 July 2021 and make amendments to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446 supplementing certain provisions of the union customs code as it forms part of retained EU law, to tighten controls on high-value consignments.

The regulations will require travellers carrying high-value commercial goods (above £1,500) in a goods vehicle to make an entry summary declaration when importing the goods into Great Britain or a pre-departure declaration when exporting goods from Great Britain. Such declarations are required to enable customs authorities to carry out risk analysis for safety and security purposes on high-value consignments.

HMRC is maintaining a collection of customs, VAT and excise ‘EU Exit’ legislation, together with relevant customs notices that have the force of law, and which can be accessed via

Issue: 1536
Categories: News