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From 1st January 2022, new customs rules will come into effect. Here’s an overview of the changing requirements.

Rules of origin for UK-EU trade

Since 1st January 2021, the EU-UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement has allowed preferential zero-tariffs to be applied to goods sent from the UK to the EU and vice versa, if they meet the rules of origin set out in the Agreement.

This means that customs duty is not applied for:

  • Goods of UK origin exported/imported from the UK to the EU
  • Goods of EU origin exported/imported from the EU to the UK

To take advantage of preferential tariffs, importers must do one of the following:

  • Provide a statement of origin on the customs invoice, issued by the exporter
  • Hold proof of origin (‘importer’s knowledge’) in the form of supporting documents and records

If exporters are unable to verify the origin of their goods, the importer may be liable to pay the full non-preferential rate of customs duty, and the exporter may receive a penalty, as well as being excluded from using preferential tariffs in the future.

Suppliers' declarations for UK-EU shipments

Throughout 2021 there has been a waiver in place that has allowed exporters to make a statement of origin without needing to provide evidence of the origin of the materials used in the production of their goods.

However, from 1st January 2022, exporters must have suppliers' declarations in place at the time of export, where applicable.

What we’re doing

Where we are generating a customs invoice for you, we will be adding the option to include a statement of origin. This is currently added automatically based on the country of origin declared on your customs invoice, but this will no longer be the default going forward, to allow for the nuances of origin rules.

We do not expect carriers to ask for any additional documentation. However, shippers will need to ensure that they have their own paperwork in order in the event that it is requested by HMRC.

Updates to commodity codes

On 1st January 2022, the World Customs Organisation is releasing the seventh edition of the Harmonised System, which is used to classify goods worldwide and is the basis for customs tariffs.

As part of this update, some HS codes (i.e. commodity codes) will be changing. The UK government website has published an overview of all affected HS codes, with a downloadable spreadsheet.

What you'll need to do

To avoid the incorrect tariffs being applied, you’ll need to check the updated codes to make sure you are still correctly classifying your goods, especially if you’re using previously saved codes in your booking.

UK import control measures

While the EU implemented full customs controls on imports from the start of 2021, the UK has taken a phased approach. As such, gradual increases on controls will continue into 2022.

From 1st January 2022:

  • Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced. This may mean more physical checks and possible delays if information is missing.
  • Sanitary and phytosanitary goods will require pre-notification.

From 1st July 2022:

  • Certification and physical checks will be introduced for plant and animal byproducts.
  • Safety & Security declarations will be required. However, we already provide carriers with the relevant information.
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