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International Trade – October 2020

No more Transition at the UK Border
By Liam Smyth, ChamberCustoms

The UK left the European Union on 31st January 2020, and the transition period comes to an end in December this year. It is vital that businesses take action now to get ready for a new border operating environment from 1st January 2021.

Until the new border operating model was published on 12th July, we could only speculate on how goods would be controlled at our borders once we left the EU. It’s now clear – and the new model brings this into stark reality – that businesses need to prepare for a significantly higher level of customs declarations and associated administration. It candidly states “customs declarations are complicated”.
Declaration volumes will grow from 55 million now, to almost 300 million next year. The cost to business is estimated at around £7bn per annum, and the customs intermediary market lacks the necessary capacity to deal with the increase.

The detail

New border procedures for importing and exporting goods to and from the EU will be in place. Traders importing ‘standard goods’ – covering everything from clothes to electronics – will need to prepare for new customs paperwork. You will need to keep specific records of imported goods and you can opt to take up to six months to submit full customs declarations for goods arriving from the EU.

Taxes will need to be paid on all imports, but payments can be deferred for up to six months until July. This will help trader cash flow until the end of 2021, but only if you or your agent have the correct approvals in place to use simplified procedures. Full customs requirements will apply to controlled goods from 1st January 2021 whether they arrive from the EU or elsewhere.

Businesses will be able to account for VAT on goods imports using Postponed VAT Accounting from the start of the new year. This means that once the staged introduction period ends, payment of VAT due on imported goods can be delayed until the next VAT return.

What does this mean for business?

Despite the much needed clarity on customs procedures, and a welcome delay through staged introduction of full customs controls, big challenges remain for most businesses. Declarations volumes will increase, costs will rise, traders need to skill up to deal with new procedures and time is incredibly short.

Companies trading across the globe will need to make a choice. Should they take advantage of the staged introduction of measures for EU imports and gain a cashflow advantage through delayed duty and VAT payments? Or, stick with the systems and processes they already know, and use the newly introduced postponed VAT accounting and guarantee free deferment accounts to delay border taxes by up to six months? Whatever you decide, businesses that export and import goods have change coming and it’s inevitable.

The wise amongst you will wake up to change and plan your level of readiness. There is much to do and qualified and compliance led customs experts are becoming a rare commodity.

Our expert team at Chamber Customs, our international trade training programmes and our overseas connections make us an ideal customs partner.

As your business gets ready for the end of the transition period, our customs agents are ready to help you clear your goods at the border. Give us a call to arrange a chat.

Whether here in the Hampshire area or across the UK, the Chamber network is here to support you and to help you to trade with confidence.

For further information please contact the international trade team at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce on tel 01329 242420.

International Trade workshops (4)

click here

For further information on any of the above workshops please call our training department on 01329 242420 or email

Updates/Latest News:

Brexit: 26 unanswered questions for business with fewer than 100 days to go

British Chambers of Commerce has published a critical update of their Brexit guidance dashboard containing 26 key questions that remain unanswered with just 98 days to go until the end of the Brexit transition period – click here for full details

Defra launch trader readiness webinars

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has organised a series of webinars during October and November to assist businesses with preparations for the end of the transition period. The webinars have been split into the three key topics:

1. The end to end exporting journey
2. Export Health Certificates (EHCs)
3. Marketing standards / health ID marks / labelling

For further details please click here.  Additional webinar dates for exporting from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will follow in due course.

EU Transition – update – click here for additional links

Prepare your business for January 2021 if you are based in the EU – visit for further information

UK tariffs from 1 January 2021 – how to check the tariffs that will apply to goods you import when the UK Global Tariff takes effect on 1 January 2021.

Older updates

Launch of digital tools for traders – two digital tools on launched to provide information to businesses exporting goods in and out of the UK market

UK trade agreements with non-EU countries – find out which trade agreements with non-EU countries are in place during and after the transition period

Trading under WTO rules – how to trade with other countries if there is no UK trade agreement in place after the transition period

Trade remedies transition policy – trade remedies protect domestic industries from unfair practices around imports. The UK’s own independent trade policy includes a trade remedies system

Apply for grants if your business completes customs declarations

UK border control posts: contact details

Passport rules for travel to Europe from 1 January 2021

ICC’s Incoterms® rules are the world’s essential terms of trade for the sale of goods and the revised publication, Incoterms® 2020, is in stock at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

To purchase your copy please contact the international trade team on tel: 01329 242420 or click here 

Foundation Award in International Trade

Hampshire Chamber can now offer the Foundation Award in International Trade, a qualification assessed by British Chambers of Commerce.

To receive the award candidates need to attend and pass assessments from 6 of the international trade training workshops on offer.

These workshops are replicated 3 times during the year.   Certificates are provided for each module passed.

For more information or to book your workshops email or call Ben McDonald on 01329 242420

Dates for your Diary:

For further information and to book please click here

For further information and to book please click here

For further information and to book please click here or contact Jackie Highmore via email

For further information and to book please click here or contact Jackie Highmore via email

Roundup of previous news:

EU-Japan Centreclick here for their latest events

The demand is out there.  You should be too.

The UK market might seem big enough for your business. But thinking bigger pays off. Borders needn’t be blockers. Let us help you grow beyond them.  Click here for further information

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