Ongoing customs movements and procedures at the end of the transition period

Guide

Last updated 15 March 2021

Customs movements that start ahead of the end of the transition period will continue under the rules in place when the movement started, provided the goods being moved have Union status.

Goods have Union status if they’re in free circulation in the EU, having either originated in the EU or having been imported from outside the EU and released for free circulation.

Goods start their movement when either:

  • you, or another person on your behalf, collect the goods in order to bring them to:
    • Great Britain from the EU or from Northern Ireland
    • Northern Ireland from Great Britain
  • you despatch the goods to:
    • Great Britain from the EU or from Northern Ireland
    • Northern Ireland from Great Britain

If you’re carrying goods in accompanied baggage, the movement starts when the aircraft, train or vessel on which you are bringing the goods to Great Britain from the EU or from Northern Ireland, or to Northern Ireland from Great Britain, is scheduled to depart.

If you’re moving goods between non-EU countries and the UK at the end of the transition period, from 1 January 2021, the UK will apply a UK-specific tariff to imported goods. This UK Global Tariff will apply for import declarations that are accepted after 11pm on 31 December 2020.

Moving goods between the EU and Great Britain

Moving goods from the EU to Great Britain

If your goods have Union status and started their movement from the EU to Great Britain before 11pm on 31 December 2020, but cross into Great Britain after 11pm, no import declaration is needed.

Non-Union goods that started their movement before 11pm on 31 December 2020 must follow customs processes, including making declarations, if they cross into Great Britain after 11pm on 31 December 2020. Safety and security declarations on imports to Great Britain from the EU are waived for 6 months and will only be required from 1 July 2021.

Moving goods from the EU to Great Britain using transit

If your goods are moving under Transit into Great Britain and boarding in the EU after 11pm you must complete an office of transit procedure when entering Great Britain.

The office of transit procedures can be undertaken either:

  • digitally using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS)
  • by manually presenting the Transit Accompanying Document to Border Force on arrival

You will need to comply with the office of transit procedures used by the port or border location where you arrive.

If you’re travelling to a GVMS location, you must get a Goods Movement Reference (GMR) for all goods boarding in the EU en route to Great Britain from 11pm on the 31 December 2020 .

The GVMS System will be available to create GMRs using Transit Movement Reference Numbers from 23 December 2020.

If your goods moving under transit have Union status and started their movement before 11pm on 31 December 2020, then you must still complete office of transit procedures on entry into Great Britain if the goods board in the EU after 11pm.

You’ll also need to end the transit movement at either an office of destination or at an authorised consignee premises. However, once you have ended your transit movement you will not need to submit an import declaration to release your goods.

Moving goods from Great Britain to the EU

If your goods have Union status and started their movement from Great Britain to the EU before 11pm on 31 December 2020, they may leave Great Britain without an export declaration.

Non-Union goods that started their movement before 11pm must follow customs processes, including making export declarations, if they leave Great Britain after 11pm. You can complete safety and security information on export by completing a combined fiscal and safety and security export declaration. If an export declaration is not submitted pre-departure, a standalone exit summary declaration may be needed.

Moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

If your goods need an import declaration in Northern Ireland after 11pm 31 December 2020, they may still leave Great Britain without an import declaration having been pre-lodged if they have Union status and started their movement from Great Britain to Northern Ireland before 11pm on 31 December 2020.

From 12:01am (GMT) on 8 January 2021, all goods crossing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland using a GVMS location will require a GMR.

If your goods have union status and the goods movement started before 11pm (GMT) 31 December 2020, you will not need to create or provide a GMR for a period of 7 days from 31 December if you are travelling through a GVMS location.

Moving goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain

If your goods need an export declaration in Northern Ireland after 11pm 31 December 2020, they may still leave Northern Ireland without an export declaration if they have Union status and started their movement from Northern Ireland to Great Britain before 11pm on 31 December 2020.

Moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland using Transit

If your goods are moving under Transit between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and boarding in Great Britain or Northern Ireland after 11pm on 31 December 2020, you must complete an office of transit procedure.

The office of transit procedures can be undertaken either:

  • digitally using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service
  • by manual presentation of the Transit Accompanying Document to Border Force on arrival

You will need to comply with the office of transit procedures used by the port where you arrive.

If you’re travelling via a GVMS location, you must get a GMR for all goods moving under Transit that board in Great Britain or Northern Ireland for transit movements from 11pm on 31 December 2020.

The GVMS System will be available to create GMRs using Transit MRNs from 23 December 2020.

If your goods moving under transit have Union status and started their movement before 11pm on 31 December 2020, then you must still complete office of transit procedures on entry into Great Britain if they board in Great Britain or Northern Ireland after 11pm.

You’ll also need to end the transit movement at either an office of destination or at an authorised consignee premises. However, once you have ended your transit movement you will not need to submit an import declaration to release your goods.

Providing evidence about ongoing movements of goods

When the goods arrive in Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you must be able to provide evidence:

  • that your goods had Union status before the end of the transition period
  • of the time your goods started movement

You can demonstrate evidence of Union status by providing:

  • a transit declaration bearing the status ‘T2’
  • a T2L or T2LF , for goods of less than 15,000 euros an invoice or transport declaration can also be accepted
  • a customs goods manifest showing ‘C’ status presented to an inventory linked port
  • an appropriate Transports Internationaux Routiers or Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet
  • excise declaration data referred to in Articles 21, 26 and 34 of Council Directive 2008/118/EC

You will not need to provide evidence where goods move between the EU and Great Britain, or between Great Britain and Northern Ireland:

  • by air, provided that they are loaded or transhipped in either the UK or the EU, where such goods are carried under cover of a single transport document, provided that the movement by air started before the end of the transition period
  • the goods are moved between the EU and Great Britain, or between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, by an approved Regular Shipping Service provided that the movement started before the end of the transition period and the status of the goods has not been altered.

You can provide evidence of the time your goods started their movement with a commercial transport document or another document showing the date and time when the movement started.

Moving excise goods

Excise Movement and Control System movements that start ahead of the end of the transition period will continue under the rules in place when the movement started.

However, any open EMCS movements from businesses based in Great Britain will not be able to declare a change of destination to an EU member state from 1 January 2021. For example, if goods are in progress from a warehouse in Great Britain to a warehouse in the EU and the goods cannot be received in the intended place of destination, they can only be amended to the following destination types:

  • Northern Ireland consignee
  • Great Britain consignee
  • Rest of World export

Excise duty paid movements that started ahead of the end of the transition period will also continue under the rules that were in place when the movement started. This covers excise duty paid goods either under a HM4 or a Simplified Accompanying Administrative Document (SAAD) form.

Amending or diverting an existing safety and security declaration

From 11pm on 31 December 2020, if you need to amend or divert an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) that has been lodged before 23:00 on 31 December 2020 for an import into Great Britain, you will have to resubmit the ENS.

Any amendments will need to be facilitated by submitting a new complete ENS declaration, with the correct data, into the safety and service Great Britain service.

For goods arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain or from countries outside the EU after 11pm on 31 December 2020, an ENS declaration must be made to the Import Control System Northern Ireland after 11pm.

If you have lodged an ENS declaration before 11pm to the Import Control System, you will have to resubmit the ENS to the Import Control System Northern Ireland.

Moving goods between Great Britain and a non-EU country via an EU Member State

If you’re exporting goods from Great Britain to a non-EU country via an EU Member State (an indirect export), and have started that movement before 11pm on 31 December 2020, the goods will be able to continue to their Office of Exit in the EU after this point.

If you’re exporting goods from an EU Member State to a non-EU country via an Office of Exit in Great Britain, and the goods started their movement before 11pm on 31 December 2020, the goods will be able to continue to the Office of Exit in Great Britain. You should retain commercial proof of the physical exit which can be used for the closure of the export movement in the Member State of Export.

Open movements using ATA carnets

Where goods were moved into the EU before the end of the transition period under an ATA carnet and leave Great Britain after the end of the transition period, the Great Britain customs office of exit will stamp the re-exportation voucher. This stamped voucher (or other documentary proof showing that the goods have left Great Britain) can be provided as a proof of re-export to the EU Member State where the goods were originally brought in.

Goods held in a customs special procedure or in Temporary Storage

From 1 January 2021, you will need to include an additional data element if you are making an import Customs Declaration via Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) where customs duties are potentially payable.

The Customs Declaration Service will be used for declarations on most goods movements to or from Northern Ireland when the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into effect on 1 January 2021. However, when you’re declaring goods held in Northern Ireland prior to 1 January 2021 out of Temporary Storage or a special procedure into free circulation, you should continue to use CHIEF and include the additional data element, as these procedures continue under the rules in place when the movement started.

Find out more about the additional element for goods held in Temporary Storage or special procedures that are going to be released to free circulation.