The UK government formally notified the EU that it would neither accept nor seek any extension to the Transition Period, please find below an updated timeline and regulations to prepare for.

There will be a phased approach to border control, starting with some controls from 1 January 2021 and moving to full controls for all goods from 1 July 2021.

If you want help with how to prepare, please link to our Guide to Trading with Europe


This means that from 31st December 2020 until 1st July 20201:

  • Most traders importing most goods from the EU to GB will now have longer to prepare, and can delay the submission of information and payment of customs duties to HMRC for up to 6 months after the point of import, with full customs requirements introduced from 1 July 2021
  • The requirement for safety and security declarations on imports Entry summary Declarations (ENS) will also be waived for 6 months
  • Traders importing controlled goods will need to prepare for full customs requirements from 1 January 2021.

Requirements from 1 January to 1 July 2021

General Import Requirements

You will

  • be allowed to declare your goods by making an entry in your own records, rather than a full customs declaration. A supplementary customs declaration will be required to be made to HMG within the 1st 6 months.
  • Need to make a declaration if you’re moving controlled goods (e.g. excise goods). This declaration can be full, simplified, or a Transit declaration depending on the trader’s authorisation.
  • Need to manually arrive the declaration in HMRC systems (including entry to the EMCS – Excise Movement and Control System) for excise duty suspended goods by the end of the working day following the physical crossing if the controlled goods are coming via a location without systems that would allow you to notify HMRC that goods have been imported.

However, you won’t:

  • Need to submit frontier declarations for non-controlled goods before being allowed to move your goods away from the frontier
  • Need to submit safety and security information for imports

General Export Requirements

You will

  • Need to submit export declarations for all goods.
  • Need to provide proof to HMRC that the goods have exited the UK should you have excise goods or goods moving under duty suspense and if you’re moving the goods through a location that does not have systems to automatically communicate to HMRC that the goods have left the country
  • Need to submit safety and security information either via a combined export declaration, or a standalone Exit Summary Declaration.

However, there won’t:

  • Be any border locations without existing systems and infrastructure required to facilitate the presentation of most goods to customs for exports purposes or to provide automatic departure messages to HMRC.

Requirements from 1 July 2021

General Import Requirements

HMRC will implement 2 models to help control import processes

  1. Pre-Lodgement Model
    1. To ensure all goods coming into the country have declarations before they board on the EU side
    2. To risk-assess and clear as many import and transit declarations as possible before goods physically arrive in the UK
    3. To communicate to the person in control of the goods (e.g. the driver of a lorry) by the time they arrive in the UK whether goods are cleared to proceed on their journey or need a check
  2. Temporary Storage Model
    1. Applicable for those operating a customs-approved warehouse
    2. All goods coming into the UK arrive at a temporary storage location pre-approved by HMRC – Declaration is made within 90 days of presentation and HMG carries out any checks before goods are approved for release from the facility by HMG

For both models, you will

  • Be required to make sure you have all your commercial paperwork accurate and ready to present and declare all goods to customs
  • Be required to present goods or documentation to customs upon request

Your nominated freight agent will provide you with guidance on which model they will make use of and how you can best prepare.

General Export Requirements

You will need to

  • Ensure goods do not proceed to the point of departure until they have permission to progress and that HMG is notified when goods have physically left the country

The government will introduce a new IT platform called the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) to support the Pre-Lodgement model for both imports and exports and to facilitate Transit movements.