Brexit Breakthrough: Border Controls and the Transition Period - | Hudson McKenzie


Brexit Breakthrough: Border Controls and the Transition Period

On 12th June 2020, The Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee met with the EU for a second time via video conference. This was to further discuss the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, i.e the Brexit plan.

Ultimately, it seems that both sides have made respected advancements. However, what else that can be made out from the negotiations is the UK’s assertive stance towards pertinent issues. This is specifically regarding the protection of citizen’s rights, financial provisions, a fixed Brexit transition period and the introduction of border controls, with a view to give businesses affected by COVID-19 adequate time to prepare.

The Upshot:

  • There will not be an extension to the Transition Period. The UK will officially leave the EU and have economic and political independence on 1st January 2021.
  • This is with the aim of allowing businesses severely affected by the pandemic to have enough time to prepare and make appropriate arrangements.
  • The UK Government will provide a monetary support package of £50 million toward the customs intermediary sector. This is for the purposes of covering EU trade after 2020 and enabling businesses such as custom brokers, freight forwarders and parcel operators to receive financial assistance. It will also proffer support in terms of recruitment, training, and supply of IT equipment to handle customs declarations.
  • The UK Government has made a further promise of designing a framework to set up new border facilities. These facilities will carry out necessary checks such as transit and customs compliance whilst providing additional assistance to other ports to build similar structures.
  • The UK Global Tariff will apply to all imported products into the UK from the start of the Transition Period to all EEA and EU states. However, this will not apply unless there is an exemption or to third countries outside the EU and EEA or to Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Border Controls:

New border arrangements for EU imports into the UK will take effect on 1st January 2021 in 3 stages:

From January 2021:

Customs requirements will be placed on traders importing products. This will include keeping records of imported products and a set timeframe of six months for completing and submitting customs declarations to HMRC.

Tariffs on imported produce must be paid from Day One however payment may be deferred up until the point the customs declaration has been submitted to HMRC (i.e six months). This is to permit traders to adjust to the new set of requirements.

Traders importing high risk animal by-products (ABP), live animals or high-risk plants and plant produce will require pre-notification and the relevant health documentation. Checks will be carried out at specified destinations.

From April 2021:

Animal products such as meat, pet food and dairy products and plant produce must carry the appropriate and sufficient health documentation and be notified to the UK authorities.

From July 2021:

At the point of importation, traders must make the necessary customs declarations and pay tariffs. Safety and Security declarations will also be required.

Checks for animal and plant products will be carried out at GB Border Control Posts.

Should you have any queries regarding the above information or require legal assistance ahead of the Transition Period, please get in contact with a legal profession at Hudson McKenzie either via email at or by telephone +44(0)20 3318 5794