Government border chief warns of 'no more delays' to start of EU-to-GB declarations from 1 Jan 2022

Thu 21 Oct 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

Delegates at the Multimodal 2021 exhibition in Birmingham this week were warned the government had no plans to further delay implementation of the Border Operating Model (BOM).

Margaret Whitby, head of border industry engagement at the UK border and protocol delivery group, in the Cabinet Office, told delegates that from 1 January 2022, “customs declarations will be due”.

From the start of 2022, UK customs authorities require full customs declarations and checks completed to allow import shipments from the EU into GB.

Along with other speakers at the three-day event, Whitby urged importers and exporters involved in EU-to-GB trade to engage with their supply chain to prepare.

Latest BOM timeline

At a presentation on future UK border strategy, IOE&IT Customs & Education Delivery Lead Vicky Payne presented an updated timeline for implementation of the Border Operating Model, downloadable free here.

Co-presenter Kevin Shakespeare, director of the IOE&IT Academy, said that traders, hauliers and forwarders needed to understand “IPAFFs, Incoterms, commodity codes and the rest,” with the IOE&IT working to build awareness around these concepts.

‘Ecosystem of trust’

To help traders adapt to the BOM, Shakespeare said that ‘single trade window’ schemes gave cause for optimism for “an ecosystem of trust” to develop for traders and hauliers in Great Britain, similar to the UK Trader Scheme set up for traders moving goods from GB to Northern Ireland.

“Traceability is essential for a ‘trusted trader’ scheme,” Shakespeare said, with a need to encourage hauliers to share customs information before their journeys.

As the IOE&IT was actively engaged in talks with government, Shakespeare ended by urging delegates to get in touch with the IOE&IT to “tell us what would make your lives easier. Now is the time for your voice to be heard”. Email

EU exporters plea

European companies exporting to GB have a “false sense of security” about the impending border controls in GB from the start of 2022.

David Wells, CEO of Logistics UK, said he had been “pleading” with members to get their European suppliers prepared for 1 January next year.

Wells said he did not think companies “realise [the UK government] is serious about imposing border controls in January 2022”. Firms did not prepare for the end of the Transition period, Wells said, “and they aren’t doing so now”.

Wells was the exhibition’s keynote speaker and took part in the panel discussion ‘The state of logistics in a post Brexit and COVID world’ on day one of the three-day event at the NEC.

The government’s revised timetable for goods being imported from the EU will see full customs declarations introduced from 1 January 2022, and requirements for pre-notification of SPS goods from the same date.