BREXIT NEWS: UK propose full import VAT & customs controls from January 2021

28 February 2020

From 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom (UK) government is planning to introduce full import and export controls on most goods coming into and leaving the UK for the European Union (EU).  

Due to an agreed transitional period, the whole of the UK is still within the EU Single Market for Value-Added Tax (VAT) and customs purposes until 31 December 2020. This means that businesses can continue to move goods freely between the EU and the UK without the need to follow full custom controls such as submitting official import and export documentation and paying duties and VAT. 

However, when the transitional period ends on 31 December 2020, the UK is proposing that the majority of goods moved between the UK and the EU will be treated as standard exports and imports. This means that all customs obligations will need to be met in regards to these transactions.

This is with the exception of trade between Northern and the Republic of Ireland. Due to the UK’s current leave agreement and in order to keep an open border between these two countries, these transactions will not change from the current process and will be treated as transactions within the EU single market even after the transition period.

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