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Missed the import rules change? Here’s a checklist for those moving goods from the EU into Great Britain

Promotional feature from HM Government

New rules for business moving goods from the EU into Great Britain were introduced on 1 January 2022.

Traders and hauliers across the country have already prepared for these changes. However, if you missed it, it is not too late. But you need to act now to keep your business moving and prevent any delays or disruption to your business

<em>Further information and links below</em>
Further information and links below

Here are the details of what you need to do:

Customs declarations

Importers must now complete customs declarations on goods they are moving from the EU into Great Britain at the time they are transported.

Last year, businesses were able to delay customs declarations for a maximum of 175 days from when goods arrived in the country. However, the changes on 1 January no longer allow for delays. Full declarations must be made at the time of bringing goods in.

A detailed step-by-step guide for new customs declaration rules can be found here. This includes information on how to bring goods into the UK from any country, as well as how much tax and customs duty you’ll need to pay, and whether you need to get a licence or certificate.

Businesses can also apply for authorisation to use simplified declarations, which allows the movement of goods into a customs procedure without having to provide a full customs declaration.

You must act now, as it can take up to 60 calendar days to complete the checks needed.

Alternatively, you can hire an individual or business to deal with the process on your behalf, either as a direct representative or an indirect representative. These can be freight forwarders, fast parcel operators, customs agents or brokers.

But, what they can do for you, and who will be liable, depends on the services they provide, what you want them to do or the commercial agreement you have with them.

They cannot act on your behalf without written instructions from you in advance.

Note: The new customs declaration rules do not yet apply to imports from the island of Ireland into Great Britain.

Rule of origin

Rules of origin are one of the most important trading requirements if a business buys or sells goods internationally. They are the criteria needed to determine the national source of a product.

These rules are used in trading agreements between different countries across the world, and are also used in the UK’s deal with the EU, which is called the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

To export tariff-free under the TCA, goods must meet the UK-EU preferential rules of origin. Their purpose is to make sure that a reduced rate of Customs Duty is only given to goods that originate in the UK or EU and not from countries outside the UK and the EU member states.

If you buy or sell goods to and from the EU, you now need to be able to prove they meet the rules of origin in order to benefit from preferential tariffs.

To benefit from the preferential tariffs, you must have proof that goods you bring into the UK from the EU originate there, and that goods you export to the EU originate in the UK.

If you cannot prove the origin of your product, you or your EU customer will be liable to pay the full rate of customs duty and could face penalties. If you cannot prove your product’s origin, you cannot take advantage of the zero-tariff trade agreement with the EU.

These documents are not relevant if your business does not want to claim preferential treatment on the goods you import from the EU, or export to the EU.

Note: If you’re moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, rules of origin work differently. Contact the Trader Support Service for up-to-date guidance and support.

Pre-notifying imports

There are also new requirements for those importing certain goods, such as food, meat or plants, to Great Britain from the EU. Importers will be required to pre-notify authorities when importing most Products of Animal Origin (POAO), Animal By-Products, High Risk Food and Feed not of Animal Origin and regulated plants and plant products from the EU to Great Britain.

Businesses, or a representative acting on their behalf, when bringing in these goods from the EU may need to pre-notify authorities that their consignment will be entering the country. This can be done on the relevant IT system.

For Products of Animal Origin, Animal By-Products and High Risk Food and Feed Not of Animal Origin, register for and use IPAFFS on GOV.UK.

For plants and plant products - if you are new to the process of pre-notifying plants and plant products from 1 January 2022, you should register for and use IPAFFS. Importers who are currently using the PEACH IT system for pre-notifications should continue to do so until directed to move to IPAFFS during the course of 2022.

Note: The new requirements to pre-notify do not apply to movements of these products from the island of Ireland into Great Britain.

Additional requirements will be introduced from 1 July 2022. Visit to find out more:

For guidance on Products of Animal Origin, go

For guidance on Animal By-Products and High Risk Food and Feed Not of Animal Origin, go

For guidance on plants and plant products, go to:

Registering for Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS)

Hauliers must now be registered for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) to move goods between Great Britain and the EU.

The GVMS system has been designed to enable fast and efficient movement of goods and will be used by many UK ports.

However, if you are not registered you will not be able to board the ferry or shuttle and cross the UK-EU border. Registration can take place online.

Ports that use GVMS to control goods will need pre-lodged declaration references to be linked together within a single reference number, known as a Goods Movement Reference (GMR). The driver will need to present a valid GMR to the carrier for check-in.

The driver moving the goods should create the GMR, but it can be done by the haulier manager, or the trader’s customs agent or freight forwarder. You must only create one GMR per vehicle.

The information in this article was correct at the time of publication

Read more in our Post Brexit Trade section on Yahoo Finance