Brexit: postponed introduction of customs controls means delay-free shipments to the UK

Dover/Versmold. 17/03/2021 The UK government has postponed introducing additional customs controls for six months. For example, veterinary certificates and pre-registrations in IPAFFS will not be required until 1 October 2021 for food of animal origin being transported from the EU to the UK. This means transport operations into the UK will remain stable and efficient beyond 1 April 2021, and stakeholders will have even more opportunity to better prepare for when the next stages of import controls are introduced. Marcel Vogler, Executive Director Transport at Nagel-Group, explains the effects the postponement of controls will have now and the options for transport to Great Britain.

What is the current situation with shipments to the UK?

We are handling shipments to the UK smoothly and with no major delays. Our site in Dover is facilitating daily shipments of foodstuffs of all temperature ranges to the UK and direct transports to Ireland, including import customs clearance, under current conditions. This means our clients can confidently continue or resume trading with their customers in the UK and Ireland.

What are the implications of import controls being postponed in the UK?

First of all, the postponement of UK import controls has provided considerable relief. Now all parties involved – whether consignors, consignees, transporters, customs forwarders, customs authorities or ports – have the time they need to prepare for the new processes at the later dates. In my opinion though, there is still quite a lot to be done here. We are in contact with all stakeholders regarding the preparations for the second and third stage of the UK import rules and are keeping our customers updated with new developments.

What opportunities does this now open up for retailers and manufacturers?

We will be able to handle larger shipment volumes to Great Britain and Ireland for the next six months than we had previously assumed. The process we established at Nagel-Group at the turn of the year is still robust. We are able to satisfy current food import requirements with our customers and deliver goods on time in the UK and Ireland. As we have massively expanded our capacities for customs clearance at our Dover site, we can avoid major delays in the supply chain. This process will now continue for a further six months, during which we will continuously fine-tune it.

What do people need to bear in mind?

The advance payments people are already familiar with still have to be made. From our perspective, two things are crucial: that simplified import customs declarations can continue to be made as before without new technical requirements; and that our customers can use the simplifications EIDR (Entry Into Declarants Records) and CFSP (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures) if they wish, provided the relevant requirements are met. We will be happy to advise our customers on what is needed for smooth transport to Ireland, Great Britain and especially Northern Ireland, bearing in mind their own individual circumstances – both in the extended transition period, as well as moving forward to future phases.

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