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UK-EU Customs Processes

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

UK-EU Customs Processes

Evolving UK-EU customs processes, including full customs controls by the EU in 2021 and phased border controls for goods imports by the UK Government. The Government’s draft Border Target Operating Model plans a risk-based SPS-check model and Safety and Security declarations for EU imports by 2024. 

Customs controls play a vital role in ensuring the smooth flow of goods across borders while upholding safety, security, and regulatory compliance. The introduction of full customs controls by the EU on January 1, 2021, followed by the UK Government’s phased implementation of border controls for goods imports from the EU over 2021 and 2022, has brought about significant changes for businesses engaging in UK-EU trade. The planned introduction of the remaining controls – health certification and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks on agri-food products, physical SPS-checks on EU imports at designated Border Control Posts, and safety and security declarations – was postponed in April 2022.


Understanding the Changing Customs Landscape

In April 2023, the UK Government unveiled a draft Border Target Operating Model for all goods imports into Great Britain, proposing a risk-based model for SPS-checks for food, animal and plant products will be rolled out from the end of 2023. Additionally, Safety and Security declarations for EU imports will be required from the end of 2024. The model also includes the implementation of a Single Trade Window to simplify information submission for importers to the government.

The Government’s Border Operating Model (June 2022) serves as a comprehensive guide for the current customs processes for imports and exports with the EU, enabling businesses to stay informed and compliant. These initiatives demonstrate the Government’s commitment to enhancing trade efficiency and ensuring smooth customs procedures for UK-EU trade.

The evolving customs landscape between the UK and EU has necessitated businesses to adapt to new processes. Key aspects include submitting customs declarations, accurate classification of goods, and adhering to safety and security requirements. In this context, tradePhlo emerges as a strategic partner to assist businesses in navigating these complexities, ensuring seamless customs clearance, and promoting a thriving supply chain.


Guidance for Customs Declarations

As of January 1, 2022, traders must submit customs declarations for all goods exported from and imported into the UK (excluding those from Ireland). tradePhlo’s team of customs experts provides end-to-end support, making the customs declaration process hassle-free. By leveraging tradePhlo’s expertise, businesses can confidently comply with customs regulations, avoiding penalties and delays.


Accurate Classification of Goods

Proper classification of goods is crucial for calculating the right amount of tax or duty. Traders must correctly classify their goods and record the origin of goods in customs declarations. 


Safeguarding Safety and Security Requirements

Starting from the end of 2024, the Government will require Safety and Security declarations for all imports from the EU. This step aims to strengthen border security and ensure the safety of imported goods. By implementing these declarations, the UK can enhance its ability to identify and address potential security risks associated with incoming shipments. For exports from Great Britain to the EU, traders typically need to submit an exit summary declaration as per current requirements, which will continue operating under the existing model.


Expert help

tradePhlo is an industry-leading, fully managed, and self-service customs broker service that empowers businesses engaged in trade between Europe and Great Britain. Operating across Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Netherlands, France, and Denmark, tradePhlo streamlines the customs clearance process with its user-friendly platform, eliminating the need for port badges and monthly fees.


Ease of Use and Support:


Setting up with tradePhlo is simple and intuitive. The platform offers a user-friendly interface, enabling businesses to easily navigate customs processes. For any queries or assistance, tradePhlo’s dedicated customer service team is available seven days a week, ensuring that businesses can access expert guidance whenever they need it.

Navigating the ever-changing customs processes between the UK and EU can be challenging for businesses. With tradePhlo as a trusted partner, businesses gain access to expert customs solutions, ensuring smooth customs clearance, and minimising disruptions to their supply chain. By simplifying customs processes and offering unwavering support, tradePhlo enables businesses to focus on what they do best—driving growth and success in international trade. Embrace the power of tradePhlo and experience the ease of seamless customs clearance for your business.

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