UK Borders update: 14 February 2019

This bulletin provides an overview of the latest EU Exit information relating to UK borders from across UK Government.  The UK Government must plan for every eventuality including no deal. Without a deal, businesses may need to take action before 29 March 2019. 

How to prepare for changes at the border in a ‘no deal’ EU Exit

Videos and leaflets are available to help you prepare for changes at the UK/EU border in a ‘no deal’ scenario. They set out the actions that businesses will need to take to continue to trade in a ‘no deal’ EU Exit. The videos are all available here.

Update to the partnership pack: preparing for changes at the UK border after a‘no deal’ EU Exit (fourth edition)

The fourth version of partnership pack is available online. The pack provides a high-level guide to processes and procedures that are likely to apply to cross-border activity between the UK and the EU in the event of a ‘no deal’scenario.

Transitional Simplified Procedures for Customs

HMRC has written to VAT registered customers who trade only with the EU, to tell them about changes that they will need to be prepared for, in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. We are encouraging businesses to get an EORI number and prepare for making customs declarations now.  We outline the new Transitional Simplified Procedures for Customs, and explain how VAT processes will change,alongside VAT IT Systems. You can read the full letter here.

We have also published four new guidance pages on GOV.UK, which the letter refers to:          Customs Procedures          Moving goods to and from the UK          Registering for simplified import procedures         VAT IT Systems rules and processes

Drug precursor chemical guidance

This week the Home Office issued guidance to trade associations on actions businesses who trade in drug precursor chemicals should take now to minimise any disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit. If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal, UK businesses importing or exporting drug precursor chemicals will need the same licenses to trade with the EU as they currently require to trade with non-EU countries. To apply for an import or export license to trade with the EU, a domestic license is needed and this can take up to 12-16 weeks to process. Operators wishing to import or export drug precursor chemicals after Brexit should consider applying for a domestic license now. Go to GOV.UK for further information and guidance on how to apply.

Pesticides guidance

This week the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued detailed guidance to manufacturers and users of Plant Protection Products(PPPs) on what action they need to take now to minimise any disruption once the UK leaves the EU. The high scientific standard to which decisions on the use of pesticides are made will not change. We will continue to be guided by the most up-to-date scientific assessment of the risks to animals and the environment.  If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal,pesticides currently available in the UK at the point of exit will continue to be so, allowing products to be marketed and used as normal.

Plants imports and exports

If the UK leaves the EU with ‘no deal’ then there will be changes to the way plants and plant products are imported and exported.To find out how these changes may impact you, please contact your local plant health inspector and read the latest guidance on GOV.UK and share information with your stakeholders.

Food labelling guidance

On 5 February, UK Government issued updated guidance on food and drink labelling in the event of leaving the EU with a ‘no deal’. While food businesses will have a 21 month transition period for the most significant changes to food labels, in the event of ‘no deal’ Brexit there are some technical changes to labels that will be required from day one. For products placed on the UK market after 29 March 2019, these changes include: The EU emblem must not be used on goods produced in the UK unless a company has been authorised by the EU to do so; The EU organic logo must not be used on any UK organic products, unless the UK and EU reach an equivalency arrangement – where both still recognise each other’s standards – before exit day; and It will be inaccurate to label UK food as origin ‘EU’. Additional information such as signage in shops and online information will help clarify to the consumer the origin of the food. Food and drink products that have already been placed on the UK market on or before 29 March 2019 can continue to be sold through until the stocks are exhausted.