Revenue extends dual running of Customs Import Systems until 31 March 2021
Revenue’s new customs declaration system, the Automated Import System (AIS), was launched on 23 November 2020. The new modernised system, which reflects all the legal requirements of the EU Union Customs Code (UCC) and is designed to replace the Automated Entry Processing (AEP) declaration system for imports, is being actively used by some 130 customs agents and businesses. Customs import declaration filing volumes in AIS now exceed those being filed via AEP. To date, 47 of the top 50 agents and businesses who file import declarations are using AIS. This level of activity on the new system reflects the excellent engagement by trade and business and by the software providers in adopting the new system.
Today (11/12/2020) Revenue confirmed that both the AIS and AEP systems will run in parallel until 31 March 2021 to allow remaining customs agents and businesses some additional time to complete their transition to the new system.
This decision was taken following ongoing extensive engagement by Revenue with software developers, trade and business both in advance of, and since, the launch of the AIS system. Revenue initially agreed to both systems running in parallel until 15 December 2020. However, having listened to the concerns raised through ongoing engagement, and recognising that this is a very challenging environment for businesses both in terms of Brexit and COVID, Revenue has today extended the period for which AEP and AIS will run in parallel until 31 March 2021.
Revenue encouraged all businesses to utilise the extension to complete their transition to AIS well ahead of the 31 March 2021 deadline at which stage the parallel running of AEP and AIS for imports will end.
Brexit is now just 20 days away. Businesses who move goods to, from or through the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) will be required to complete customs formalities from 1 January 2021. Having access to AIS either directly or through a customs agent, is a key part of being prepared for, and being able to complete these formalities using an IT system that will ensure and deliver compliance with the full requirements of the UCC in relation to imports.
Businesses who have not prepared for Brexit or who have not yet fully completed their preparations will be immediately impacted on 1 January 2021. However, minimising the impacts of Brexit is within the power of each business and is still possible. Revenue’s advice to these businesses is to act immediately by taking the following key preparation steps:
- register with Revenue for customs by getting an Economic Operators Registration Identification (EORI) number
- have the facility to make customs declarations or have arrangements in place for a customs agent to do so
- be familiar with and talk to the other key players in the supply chain
- know the origin and Commodity Code of the goods or products
- talk to the person who transports the goods to make sure they have the new information they need
- consider alternative routes to EU markets.