The UK Government has made it clear that it will not extend the Transition Period beyond the 31st December 2020. However, due to the impact that Covid-19 has had on business, the Government will introduce Border Controls in stages from 1st January 2021 and gradually moving to full control of all goods from 1st July 2021.

The main points for Importers’ are:

From 1st January 2021 to 30th June 2021 HMRC will introduce a new simplified import customs clearance system – Customs Freight Simplified Procedures/Entry In Declarants Records (CFSP – EIDR).  This system will replace the TSP process which has been abolished.

Under CFSP-EIDR imports have six months to present the import entry, but imports must keep records of arrivals. The system will be available to all companies and importers without the need to apply for it.

From 1st July 2021, full import customs clearance formalities will apply (C88)

Border controls for animal and plat products which require Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary Certificates (SPS) will be relaxed until 30th March 2021 except for live animals and high-risk plants.  

From 1st April 2021 SPS goods will require health certificates and pre-notification, and from 1st July 2021 full SPS check will take place and goods needs to enter via a Border Control Post (BIC) and full import customs clearance formalities will apply (C88).

Safety & Security Declarations are not required for imports to the UK until 1st July 2021.


The main points for Exporters’ are:

Full Export declarations must be done from 1st January 2021.

Safety & Security declarations must be done from 1st January 2021


UK has left the EU and entered into a Transtion Period

From 1st February UK entered into an 11-month Transition Period and will continue to follow all of EU’s rules and the trading relationship will remain the same, but the UK will not have any representation in the EU. 

The Transition Period will come to an end 31st December 2020, by which time the UK and EU hope to have agreed on a future economic and security partnership deal, including an “ambitious free trade deal”. A trade deal is needed as the UK will leave the Single Market and Customs Union at end of the Transition Period and a free trade deal will allow goods to move around the EU with minimum checks and no extra charges and tariffs.
If a trade deal cannot be agreed on time, then there could be tariffs and other trade barriers on UK goods moving between the UK and EU countries.


What’s the future for UK's trade with the EU and the World?

Until December 2020 UK companies can trade with the EU and use EU’s negotiated 40 free trade deals covering more than 70 countries without reference to the World Trade Organisation’s terms (WTO). From 1st January 2021 the UK need to negotiate a free trade deal with the EU and replicate EU’s 40 free trade deals country by country in order to avoid WTO tariffs and other trade barriers.

New trade deals

So far, the UK has signed 20 deals covering 50 countries/territories representing around 8% of UK’s total trade and include; Andean countries, Caribbean countries, Central America, Chile, Eastern and South Africa, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Norway, Pacific Islands, Palestinian authorities, South Korea, Southern African nations, Switzerland and Tunisia.

In addition to these trade deals the UK has signed “Mutual Recognition Agreements” with USA, Australia and New Zealand. These agreements recognise product and labelling standards etc but are no free trade agreements. So much more work needs to be done by the government before the end of 2020 to facilitate future UK trade.

We are leaving

It is now clear the UK will leave the Single Market and Customs Union on the 31st December 2020, so everyone who is trading with the EU should use the Transition period to prepare for new trade regulations and possible tariffs. As from 1st January 2021 all goods transported between the UK and EU over the various routes and transport methods like Ro/Ro, Eurotunnel, Road, Rail, Truck, Containerised Cargo, Sea Freight and Air Freight including Courier parcels will be subject to additional customs border checks and customs clearance declarations and applicable Phytosanitary, CVED’s and Licences.

We can help you 

Telephone advice & consultancy available - we can help you understand how to continue Trading with Europe using the new Customs formalities.

If you are trading with the EU you need to take action and prepare for 1st January 2021. It is also important to remember that even if the UK and the EU agree a free trade deal the UK is set to leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union, which means all goods transported between the UK and EU will be subject to customs clearance formalities.

What you need to do now

Keep up to date

Have You Got an EORI Number

  • Make sure you have your Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.  If you don’t have an EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number you should apply for one now!  You need the EORI number to Customs clear your goods when you import or export after 1st January 2021.

          It will only take a few days and is free. Apply at:

Do You Know Your Commodity Code

  • You need to establish the Commodity Codes for your goods. You will need these codes to Customs clear your goods and to apply the correct amount of DUTY.

    Check your Commodity code at:

Do You Know Your INCOTERMS 

  • You need to establish your Incoterms (International Commercial Terms), which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts. The terms are published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). 

        Check your INCO terms at: rules-2010/
and at ICC Store at:

Do You Have The Right Documentation

  • You need to be ready to provide the following commercial documentation and information for each shipment.

    Goods Description
    Packing List
    Cargo Weight
    Commercial Invoice incl. Sales Value and Currency for the Goods - Incoterms
    County of Origin of the Cargo – this may be different to the country the goods are consigned from.
    Commodity Code and Tariff Number
    Licence requirements
    Health or Phyto Certs
    EORI number
    Importer details
    Exporter details

Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP)

  • Please note registration and use of Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for imports from the EU has been abolished and will be replaced with CFSP-EIDR from 1st January 2021. You cannot use TSP during the Transition Period, 1st February to 31st December 2020. In addition, postponed VAT accounting is also not available during the Transition period.

If in doubt or have any questions please talk to RJJ, we will assist you and clarify what you need to do. 

RJJ is AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) accredited by HMRC and therefore experienced and approved as a “Trusted Trader” by HMRC.

For more information please contact a member of the RJJ team:

Phone: +44 (0)1394 673466      Email: [email protected]