This article was originally published in Global Trade Magazine on August 13, 2020.
By Paul Woodward
For many, the onset of Brexit’s transitional period, which began on February 1, 2020, probably seems like an eternity ago, particularly considering the global pandemic that has consumed world affairs since that time.
But while the outcome of the transitional period may no longer be top of mind, its final stages are rapidly approaching, and businesses engaged in trade with the UK, the EU or both will need to begin preparing for changes that will take place as early as January 1, 2021. The governments of the UK and EU have now publicized clear guidance on what will be required with the official splitting of ties between the two entities – guidance that will determine how enterprises will trade, and what processes they will be required to follow in a post-Brexit landscape.
In February 2020, the UK’s government said it would implement full border controls on imports coming into Great Britain from the European Union. This statement has now been eased with the UK taking the decision to introduce the new border controls in three stages ending July 1, 2021. Downing Street has also published the “Border Operating Model,” which provides visibility and instruction to traders.
The details of these three stages of border controls for imports are as follows: