A slew of new Brexit red tape will come into force from New Year’s Day and will place a whole raft of new restrictions on trade between the UK and the EU. The changes could mean higher costs for consumers in the UK after months of price rises due to inflation and supply chain shortages.
What changes are coming in the New Year?
From January 1, companies that import goods from the EU to the UK will no longer be able to take advantage of the temporary six-month grace period which allowed them to delay making customs declarations to HMRC and postpone paying any tariffs due.
From Saturday, businesses trading with the EU will be required to pay up immediately, and customs declarations in the UK can no longer be postponed.
The EU has told its member states that product exports to the UK that are required to carry veterinary health certificates, such as live animals, meat, dairy products, must now pass a designated border control post in the UK.
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The rules also apply to “high risk” vegetable agricultural goods such as trees and perennials.
To add to the slew of new red tape, “Rules of Origin” will be introduced, which are a key element of the UK’s deal with the EU called the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).
Now, if a company is importing or exporting, it must be able to prove the goods meet the rules of origin so preferential tariffs can be applied.
This means traders will be required to prove where the goods have been grown, produced or manufactured.
Richard Harrow, chief executive at the British Frozen Food Federation, warned the new border controls could see major delays at British ports as many EU hauliers may not yet be accustomed to new systems designed by the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs.
He said: “Whilst the new UK rules will be introduced in stages, we are concerned that not enough planning has been done to ensure the new requirements are understood by everyone in the food supply chain.”
Northern Ireland will not be beholden to the same rules as the rest of the UK just yet, as talks continue over the Protocol between UK and bloc negotiators.
A Government spokesperson said there will be “temporarily extend staged customs controls for goods that move from the island of Ireland into Great Britain while discussions between the United Kingdom and the European Union on the Northern Ireland Protocol are ongoing”.
“This will avoid any disruption and ensure that businesses moving goods from the island of Ireland to Great Britain can continue to follow the same processes they do now.”