UK Government Abandons Plans to Implement Full Border Checks Post-Brexit

The UK Government has announced that it will abandon plans to implement full border checks post-Brexit.

This announcement comes after the Government faced pressure from businesses not to exacerbate issues already being caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, has stated that businesses should not be asked to cope with both Covid-19 and border disruptions at the same time.

Instead of full checks, the government will introduce temporary “light-touch” processes at UK ports, which will be in place regardless of whether there is a deal or a no-deal departure.

However, goods exported from the UK into the EU will still be subject to checks on arrival at EU Port of entry.

Topline Process

  • From 1st January standard UK imports will have access to a process known as CFSP EIDR (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures, Entry In Declarants Records). This is similar to TSP (Transitional Simplified Procedures), which were designed to become effective in the event of a no-deal departure in both March and October 2019. However, this process has since been abandoned, despite the significant time, effort and cost invested by UK Importers in preparation.
  • Some goods will be excluded and therefore require full frontier declarations (for example; excise goods). The comprehensive list of excluded goods will resemble the TSP controlled goods list.
  • Under this new process, importers will have up to 6 months to present an import customs, however arrival records must be maintained.
  • This process will be available to all importers without a need to apply (as was the case with TSP).
  • Safety and Security declarations won’t be required on UK imports until 1st July next year.
  • UK export declarations will still be required.
  • UK export health certificates (including phyto) will still be required as documentation required at destination whereas UK export declaration ends at point of exit.

Michael Gove had previously stated there would be full checks at the UK border. The government had announced back in February that it had confirmed plans to introduce import controls on EU goods at the UK border from 1st January 2021.

At the time, Gove said “We are leaving the EU’s customs union and single market, taking back control of our borders, and beginning to strike deals around the world.”

He continued “Border checks were put in place for a number of reasons, including to keep our borders safe and secure and to collect the correct amount of customs, VAT and excise duties.”
“The UK will be outside the single market and outside the customs union, so we will have to be ready for the customs procedures and regulatory checks that will inevitably follow.”

The Government claimed that the import controls would not affect trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland, or between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. However, in May, the government confirmed that it would introduce inspection posts at Northern Ireland ports in order to meet the terms of its Brexit deal.

For further information regarding this announcement and to discuss how to prepare your supply chain processes in readiness for Brexit, please contact us –

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