Full customs controls start on 1 January 2022 (2023)

If you’re a trader, a number of things are changing from 1 January 2022. This information will help you get ready.

  • Temporary arrangements for movements from Ireland
  • Customs declarations
  • Border controls
  • Rules of origin – for imports and exports
  • Postponed VAT Accounting
  • Commodity codes
  • Further changes from 1 July 2022

Temporary arrangements for movements from Ireland

The government has announced that current customs arrangements for goods moving from Ireland and Northern Ireland to Great Britain will be extended for as long as discussions between the UK and EU on the operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol are ongoing.

This means that full customs controls will be introduced as planned on 1 January 2022 for goods moving between the EU and Great Britain, except from Ireland.

Customs declarations

If you’re importing non-controlled goods which are entering Great Britain from Irish ports, there are no changes at the moment and you can continue to delay making your customs declarations for up to 175 days, as long as you make an entry in declarants imports at the time of import.

If your goods are entering Great Britain from other EU countries, you will no longer be able to delay making import customs declarations under the Staged Customs Controls rules that have applied during 2021. Most customers will have to make declarations and pay relevant tariffs at the point of import.

You should consider before 1 January 2022 how you are going to submit your customs declarations and pay any duties that are due. You can appoint an intermediary, such as a customs agent, to deal with your declarations on your behalf or you can submit them yourself.

For more information, find out how to get someone to deal with customs for you.

Some businesses already have a ‘Simplified Declarations’ authorisation from HMRC that allows their goods to be released directly to a specified customs procedure without having to provide a full customs declaration at the point of release.

If you want to use Simplified Declarations, you’ll need authorisation to do so. It can take up to 60 calendar days to complete the checks needed for this and you will also need to have a Duty Deferment Account in place. Therefore a new application made now may not be authorised before 1 January 2022.

For more information, find out how to apply to use simplified declarations for imports.

You must use the correct country code for the country of origin and the country of dispatch when you complete your customs declaration. For EU countries, the individual country code of the relevant member state should be used. The EU country code must not be used and will be removed from systems shortly.

Border controls

Ports and other border locations will be required to control goods moving Great Britain and the EU. This means that unless your goods have a valid declaration and have received customs clearance, they will not be able to be released into circulation, and in most cases will not be able to leave the port, except from in Ireland.

From 1 January 2022, your goods may be directed to an Inland Border Facility for documentary or physical checks if these checks cannot be done at the border.

It’s important that those involved in transporting your goods are ready and understand how you intend to operate from January 2022.

From 1 January 2022, you must also submit an “arrived” export declaration if your goods are moving through one of the border locations that uses the arrived exports process.

If you do not follow the correct process from 1 January 2022, the new systems will not permit your goods to leave the country and they will be turned away as they will not hold export clearance.

If you use a service such as a courier or freight forwarder to move your goods, you need to check their terms and conditions about who will make the declarations, and what other information they need from you to do this.

Rules of origin – for imports and exports

The UK’s deal with the EU, called the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), means that the goods you import or export may benefit from a reduced rate of Customs Duty (tariff preference). To use this, you need proof that the goods you:

  • import from the EU originate there
  • export to the EU originate in the UK

By ‘originate’ we mean where goods (or the materials, parts or ingredients used to make them) have been produced or manufactured. It is not where the goods have been shipped or bought from. Your goods will need to meet the product specific rules of origin requirements set out in the TCA.

UK and EU importers can claim tariff preference if they have one of the following proofs of origin:

  • a statement on origin – this must be made out by the exporter to confirm that the product originates in the UK or EU
  • the importer’s knowledge – this option allows the importer to claim tariff preference based on their own knowledge of where the goods they’re importing originate from

If you export goods to the EU and you provide the EU importer with a statement on origin, you may also need to have a supplier declaration in place. These are needed to confirm the origin of the goods you’re exporting when the manufacture alone is not enough to meet the product specific rules of origin.

Throughout 2021, you have been allowed to export goods to the EU using tariff preference and get supplier declarations afterwards, to give you more time. But from 1 January 2022 you must have supplier declarations (where required) at the time you export your goods.

If you cannot provide a supplier declaration to confirm the UK origin of goods you exported to the EU between 1 January and 31 December 2021, you must let your customer know.

If you’re subject to a request for verification by EU customs authorities and you can’t provide this supporting evidence, your EU customer will be liable to pay the full (non-preferential) rate of Customs Duty and we may also charge you a penalty.

Find out more about using a suppliers’ declaration to support a proof of origin.

Even if goods you import from the EU are eligible for tariff preference, normal VAT rules will still apply.

Postponed VAT Accounting

If you’re a VAT-registered importer, you can continue to use Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) on all customs declarations that require you to account for import VAT, including supplementary declarations, except when HMRC have told you otherwise. PVA has already provided significant cash flow benefits for thousands of our customers, and we expect that most businesses will choose to use it.

For more information, check when you can account for import VAT on your VAT Return.

Commodity codes

Commodity codes are used worldwide to classify goods that are imported and exported. They are standardised up to 6-digits and reviewed by the World Customs Organisation every 5 years. Following the end of the latest review, the UK codes will be changing on 1 January 2022.

Read our guidance on finding commodity codes for imports into or exports out of the UK which includes information on using the ‘Trade Tariff Tool’ to look up the correct commodity codes.

You can also check the Trade Tariff news page.

Further changes from 1 July 2022

Further changes will be introduced from July 2022, which we’ll let you know more about nearer the time.

These will include:

  • requirements for full safety and security declarations for all imports
  • new requirements for Export Health Certificates
  • requirements for Phytosanitary Certificates
  • physical checks on sanitary and phytosanitary goods at Border Control Posts


Do you need a GMR if empty? ›

You'll need to get a goods movement reference if you're moving an empty trailer or any other commercial goods that can be declared orally or by conduct for either: goods moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. goods moved from the EU (not including Ireland) to Great Britain. goods moved from Great Britain to the ...

What are customs controls? ›

customs control means executing specific actions, such as examining goods, verifying the existence and the authenticity of customs documents, examining the accounts and other records inspecting means of transport, luggage and other goods carried by or on persons, seizing goods, and reporting suspects to the judicial ...

Do I need a customs declaration? ›

Yes, customs forms are mandatory regardless of how you pay for your postage.

How do I make a customs declaration? ›

The declaration will need to include:
  1. the customs procedure code.
  2. the commodity code.
  3. your declaration unique consignment reference which is the main reference number that links declarations in the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system or the Customs Declaration Service.

How do I check my GMR status? ›

Check if the goods are ready for movement

When you are presented with a goods movement reference, you will need to: capture and validate the GMR. capture the vehicle registration number if the movement is accompanied. capture the trailer number or container reference number if the movement is unaccompanied.

How long is a GMR valid for? ›

GMRs are kept for 28 days from the last update and can be updated using the Update Goods Movement Record endpoint as many times as needed before being used at check-in, which will finalise the GMR. The whole GMR record is sent with every update and replaces the last version received.

Can you bypass customs? ›

Apply for Global Entry

Global Entry is everything that TSA PreCheck is and more. If you have Global Entry, you'll automatically also get TSA PreCheck and all of its benefits. On top of that, you'll get to avoid the general customs line when returning to the U.S. from abroad.

What does customs look for? ›

Officials at customs and immigration are checking travelers for things like whether they have the right documents to be in the country, whether they're legally allowed to be there, and whether they're bringing anything illegal with them.

At what point do you go through customs? ›

When you fly into the United States, the rule is that you must pass through customs and immigration at your first point of entry in the United States. Therefore, if you fly from Paris to Chicago with a layover in New York, you will need to pass through customs and passport control in New York, not in Chicago.

What happens if you dont declare US Customs? ›

The primary penalty a person will face when failing to disclose any item through the United States Customs and Border Protection is the seizure and loss of the property. This generally starts when clearing customs when arriving in the country if no declaration is made.

What happens if you don't fill out a customs form? ›

If you don't, the customs officials in the receiving country may reject and return (or, in certain cases, may even destroy) your package. Note: If you're mailing First-Class Mail International® service envelopes containing only documents that don't require customs forms, these new rules don't apply to you.

What documents are needed to clear customs? ›

There are four basic import documents you need in order to clear customs quickly and easily.
  • Commercial Invoice. This document is used for foreign trade. ...
  • Packing List. Provided by the shipper or freight forwarder, the packing list may be used by customs to check the cargo. ...
  • Bill of Lading (BOL) ...
  • Arrival Notice.

How much does it cost to declare US Customs? ›

International travelers entering the United States must declare if they are carrying currency or monetary instruments in a combined amount over $10,000 on their Customs Declaration Form (CBP Form 6059B) and then file a FinCEN Form 105.

How long does customs clearance take? ›

How long does custom clearance take? Typically, customs clearance takes less than 24 hours, however, there are times where it can take several days or weeks for goods to be inspected. When is customs clearance needed? Customs clearance is necessary for all packages entering the U.S. from other countries.

Do US citizens have to fill out customs declaration? ›

If you are a U.S. citizen planning to travel abroad, you must comply with the document requirements for that country. For a list of Foreign Consular Offices in the U.S. visit the U.S. Department of State website. Each individual arriving into the United States must complete the CBP Declaration Form 6059B.

What is GMR code customs? ›

A Goods Movement Reference (GMR) number is generated by GVMS, the GMR links together all the customs declarations for a particular shipment. This allows the haulier to present one GMR number at the European border to prove that all the goods being shipped have been correctly declared to HM Revenue and Customs.

How do I get a GMR code? ›

To generate a GMR, you need to be registered for the service and have the associated declaration references for the goods movement. The GMR is created on the goods vehicle movement service web portal, and you will need your government gateway user ID, password, and EORI number to complete the registration.

Who is responsible for GMR? ›

It is the haulier's responsibility to ensure that their vehicle has a GMR when crossing the border.

Is a GMR a port pass? ›

Port Passes (also known as pre-lodgement systems such as GMR, PBN and logistics envelopes) are one of the new procedures hauliers have to contend with for GB and EU imports/exports.

Who provides MRN number? ›

How is the MRN assigned? For every declaration processed, CDS will issue a unique MRN. This is automatically generated for all import and export declarations, including pre-lodged declarations submitted to CDS.

What does an MRN number look like? ›

An MRN is 18 characters long. The first two characters are the year in which the goods are shipped, e.g. 20 for 2020. The next two characters are the two-letter country code of the country where the shipment originated, e.g. DE for Germany.

Can customs read your phone? ›

Unlike other law enforcement, border authorities don't need a warrant to search your device. They may conduct a basic search — in which they scroll through your device inspecting texts, photos or anything else they can easily access — even if they don't suspect you of wrongdoing.

What is the fastest way to get through customs? ›

Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.

Does customs open your box? ›

No, customs officers will not open up your package or packages without good reason. Every package is put through a scanner machine, or an x-ray machine, to verify that the items you are shipping match your customs forms.

How do you know if you are flagged by customs? ›

There are signs that will indicate you have been flagged for additional screenings: You were not able to print a boarding pass from an airline ticketing kiosk or from the internet. You were denied or delayed boarding. A ticket agent “called someone” before handing you a boarding pass.

What do customs agents see? ›

If an officer believes there is a reason to get even more information about you, they may be able to get:
  • Any criminal history you have.
  • Your citizenship status.
  • Employment information.
  • Your phone numbers.
  • Your property records.
  • Credit card data.
  • Your social media history.
  • Information about your family members.

Why does customs take your picture? ›

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is taking your photograph in order to verify that each person presenting a travel document for entry into the U.S. is the true bearer of that document.

Do you have to answer customs questions? ›

If you are a U.S. citizen, you need only answer questions establishing your identity and citizenship, although refusing to answer routine questions about the nature and purpose of your travel could result in delay and/or further inspection.

Does TSA PreCheck get you through customs faster? ›

TSA PreCheck® provides expedited security screening benefits for flights departing from U.S. Airports. Global Entry provides expedited U.S. customs screening for international air travelers when entering the United States. Global Entry members also receive TSA PreCheck® benefits as part of their membership.

Is an hour enough time to go through customs? ›

Is 1 hour enough for customs? Based on historic clearance times, 1 hour should be enough time to get through Immigration and Customs. Most airports in the U.S. will get passengers through in less than 30 minutes, while others (such as Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport) will take longer.

Can US Customs fine you? ›

Customs has full authority to assess penalties and liquidated damages claims and to seize merchandise for violations of Customs or other laws enforced by the Customs Service.

What is the limit for US duty-free? ›

Up to $1,600 in goods will be duty-free under your personal exemption if the merchandise is from an IP. Up to $800 in goods will be duty-free if it is from a CBI or Andean country. Any additional amount, up to $1,000, in goods will be dutiable at a flat rate (3%).

How much can you bring into US without declaring? ›

There is no maximum limit, however, any amount exceeding $10,000 USD must be declared upon arrival on both the Form 6059B and FinCEN 105. All forms must be filled in completely and truthfully. The penalties for inaccurate declaration and non-compliance can be severe including heavy fines and/or confiscation of funds.

Can I use a Ziploc bag for customs forms? ›

If you don't have a USPS Customs Form Envelope, you can also place those extra customs form sheets in a regular envelope or a ziplock bag that you label with the phrase "Customs Forms," and affix that envelope to the outside of your package.

Can customs Keep your package? ›

There are several common reasons a shipment can be placed on hold for a Customs release. The most common reason for shipments being held for Customs clearance is missing documentation and information.

Why does customs ask if you've been on a farm? ›

Information for Travelers Who Visit Farms or Come Into Contact with Animals in Other Countries. U.S. citizens and international visitors who visit a farm or make contact with live animals in another country can unknowingly spread potentially devastating animal diseases.

Can you clear customs by yourself? ›

There is no legal requirement for you to hire a Customs Broker to clear your goods. However, many importers opt to do so for the convenience.

How do I avoid customs clearance? ›

Tell the seller explicitly that the item is for personal use. Import duties typically apply to items imported for commercial use (business or resale)—not personal or retail sales. If you're importing something for your own personal use or as a gift for someone else, you don't have to pay them.

What happens after you clear customs? ›

Customs cleared means your parcel has undergone the necessary customs inspections and the duty fees have been paid and calculated. The international shipment is then free and clear to move on to its next destination.

How much cash can I carry in airport? ›

According to the RBI rule, when you are travelling within India, there is no specified limit to the amount one can carry, as long as one can show the source for the cash.

How much cash can I carry on international flight? ›

Bringing in Foreign Exchange

If, however, the value of foreign currency in cash exceeds US$ 5,000 and/or the cash plus TCs exceed US$ 10,000 it should be declared to the customs authorities at the airport in the currency declaration form (CDF), on arrival in India.

What items must be declared at U.S. customs? ›

You must declare all items you purchased and are carrying with you upon return to the United States, including gifts for other people as well as items you bought for yourself. This includes duty-free items purchased in foreign countries, as well as any merchandise you intend to sell or use in your business.

How long can a package be stuck in customs? ›

Customs clearance normally takes a matter of minutes or hours but it can take days or even weeks if there's something wrong or your goods need to be inspected.

Does customs work on Saturday? ›

The Chief Commissioner of Customs, Delhi Custom Zone, Shri Surjit Bhujabal inaugurated the Customs clearance work on all 7 days of a week including public holidays today at Inland Container Depot (ICD) Garhi Harsaru.

How long does customs clearance delay take? ›

How long will FedEx be able to keep my shipment on hold for import clearance? FedEx will usually hold the shipments for 10 days for customer instructions or approvals. On the 11th day, we will return the shipment back to origin, if no positive feedback from the customer.

Can you fill out customs forms in advance? ›

Form 6059B Customs Declaration in English and Fillable. This form can be now be filled out prior to or during your travel and be filled out by typing (instead of hand written) and then printed and taken with you as your official Customs Declaration.

Does customs check every package USA? ›

The CBSA visually inspects each parcel or piece of mail. Package contents that are not on the prohibited items list and not subject to duties or taxes are released for delivery.

What can you not bring through customs? ›

Prohibited and Restricted Items
  • Alcoholic Beverages. ...
  • Automobiles. ...
  • Biologicals. ...
  • Ceramic Tableware. ...
  • Cultural Artifacts and Cultural Property. ...
  • Defense Articles or Items with Military or Proliferation Applications. ...
  • Dog and Cat Fur. ...
  • Drug Paraphernalia.

Who is responsible for the GMR? ›

It is the haulier's responsibility to ensure that their vehicle has a GMR when crossing the border.

Do I need a T1 document? ›

A T1 transit document is required when: Goods enter the EU and it is unsure whether they will remain within the territory of the European Union. Goods enter the EU for storage under customs control. Outbound consignments are sent from your customs entrepôt.

What is a GMR document? ›

A Goods Movement Reference (GMR) number is generated by GVMS, the GMR links together all the customs declarations for a particular shipment. This allows the haulier to present one GMR number at the European border to prove that all the goods being shipped have been correctly declared to HM Revenue and Customs.

What items need to be declared at customs France? ›

Important: you must declare to Customs any goods in excess of €150, €300, or €430 (see table opposite) that you are carrying, and pay the corresponding duties and taxes. The customs declaration may be oral or written, depending on the goods and their value.

How many airports are under GMR? ›

Presently, the group owns and operates Delhi International Airport, Hyderabad International Airport, and New Goa Manohar International Airport.

What countries is GMR in? ›

GMR Airports has a portfolio of seven airports in three countries: India, the Philippines and Greece.

What is the current GMR? ›

GMR's current price is $0.00826534, with a 24-hour trading volume of $13.27K. GMR is -0.67% in the last 24 hours, with a circulating supply of 328.65M GMR coins and a maximum supply of -- GMR coins. GMR ranks 1564 by market cap.

Who completes the T1 document? ›

To obtain a T1 form, your broker will need to complete the declaration on NCTS, before the haulier can present your goods to the border force and make the T1 form live.

What is a T1 for customs? ›

The T1 shipping note is a customs document used in the cross-border movement of goods for transporting customs goods from one customs office to another. Basically, the T1 note is used to carry non-EU goods within the EU territory.

What is T1 customs clearance? ›

The T1 shipping note is a customs document used in cross-border movement of goods for transporting customs goods from one customs office to another. Basically, the T1 note is used to carry non-EU goods within the EU territory. The T1 transit procedure is opened by customs at the point of departure.

What are the three types of documents that are required for every shipment? ›

Must-have Shipping Documents for Imports
  • Bill of Lading. This is the most important document not only for exporters but for importers too. ...
  • Commercial Invoice cum Packing List. Again, the importer needs this document just as much as the exporter. ...
  • Bill of Entry. The third must-have document for importers is a bill of entry.
Jul 26, 2021

What is MRN customs declaration? ›

What is a Movement Reference Number (MRN)? The MRN is a customs identification number that's created each time a declaration is submitted for importing or exporting goods. The number generated is bespoke, allowing your goods to be uniquely linked to you.

What is MRN in freight? ›

What is an MRN? MRN stands for Movement Reference Number. The Customs Authority issues a Movement Reference Number (MRN) in each member state. The MRN number is the customs registration number that enables the customs authority to identify and process your shipment in the customs system.

What can I not bring into France? ›

France Prohibited and Restricted Items
  • All forms of asbestos fibers.
  • All forms of asbestos fibers.
  • All products containing the biocide dimethylfumarate (DMF)
  • Animal skins.
  • Atlantic red tuna fish (Thunnus Thynnus) originating from Belize, Panama, and Honduras.
  • Certain U.S. Beef hormones.
  • Clocks/watches.

What Cannot bring to France? ›

You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions for medical reasons, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.

What happens if you don't declare items at customs? ›

The primary penalty a person will face when failing to disclose any item through the United States Customs and Border Protection is the seizure and loss of the property. This generally starts when clearing customs when arriving in the country if no declaration is made.


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