The government has announced a six-month phasing in of pre-arrival forms, known as Entry Summary Declarations, for goods imported from the EU in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Entry Summary Declarations are required for imports from outside the EU and had been broadly expected to be required in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
But officials have confirmed that from 29 March 2019 the status quo will be temporarily maintained as importers will not need to submit Entry Summary Declarations on imports from the EU for a period of six months.
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The measure is designed to give business more time to prepare for changes to EU-UK trade arrangements in the event that the UK leaves without a deal, the government said, adding: “This builds on the plans that Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) can be used for at least 15 months for customs declarations.”
Importers will still be required to submit import declarations for customs purposes – which are not the same as Entry Summary Declarations.
HMRC announced ways of making these import declarations easier, through Transitional Simplified Procedures, which we covered in our earlier news post, ‘HMRC outline no-deal Brexit’.
At the end of the six-month transitional period, carriers will be legally responsible for ensuring Entry Summary Declarations are submitted pre-arrival to HMRC at the time specified by mode of transport and Border Force will continue to carry out intelligence-led checks.
The UK’s approach to dangerous goods coming into the UK is not affected, the government stressed, noting that the briefings this week were “the latest stage in HMRC’s co-ordinated efforts to make sure traders are prepared for all Brexit outcomes”.
Pauline Bastidon, head of global and European policy at the Freight Transport Association, said. “It is imperative that the UK government maintains pressure on the EU to ensure that a similar waiver is adopted by the EU. To ensure that Britain can keep trading efficiently, it is vital that the European Commission and UK agree a longer term, more sustainable arrangement to remain in the same security zone, which would make safety and security declarations for UK-EU trade irrelevant.
“Above all, it is vital that the UK’s supply chain remains as frictionless as possible – British business needs to be confident that goods and materials will continue to transit the nation’s borders as swiftly and efficiently as possible.”