Do you import goods from the EU? December 2021 marks the end of ‘staged custom controls’ as we have known them ahead of HMRC introducing full custom declarations in 2022.

Businesses of all sizes are being warned to prepare for the changes coming into play from the beginning of the year. A number of conversations lately among Chamber members have revealed some confusion on when the transition period will end. A lot of customers believe this transition will last until July 2022 but this is not entirely the case.

From January 1, 2022, the UK’s latest Border Operating Model comes into force and will include the following changes:

  • full custom declarations will be required for all imported goods
  • full customs controls and customs checks will apply along with the requirement for full custom declarations. Businesses that still wish to use deferred declarations or import simplified frontier declarations will be required to apply for Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) approval the Chamber can help you with this.
  • customs checks will begin on imports into GB and from the EU
  • pre-notification through IPAFFS and documentary checks will be required for imports of agri-foods (live animals and animal bi-products)
  • GVMS will go live for EU to GB imports when passing through GB ports that are not inventory linked (this includes Dover, Eurotunnel, and Holyhead)
  • pre-notification requirements and documentary checks (including phytosanitary certificates) will be required for low risk plants and plant products
  • physical SPS checks on high risk plants and agri-food and feed (including products of animal origin and high-risk foods not of animal origin) will take place at Border Control posts rather than the place of destination

Another important change that will be introduced from January 1, 2022 applies to plants and plant products:

In essence, if your business brings in goods from the EU and it feels like nothing has changed since Brexit you need to think again.

Maybe take this as your final written warning!

The Chamber is across all these changes and is ready to help businesses navigate the changing import landscape. Visit to find out more.