UK import controls - extension of implementation dates

Irish exporters exporting to, or through, the United Kingdom (UK), excluding Northern Ireland, must comply with:

  • customs export formalities that have applied since 1 January 2021
  • UK import customs requirements
  • and
  • UK requirements for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) movements.

UK requirements for imports from Ireland that were due to begin on 1 January 2022 have been temporarily postponed. The UK Government announced this postponement until further notice on 15 December 2021. This means that current arrangements will remain in place for goods moving directly from Ireland to Great Britain (GB) until further notice. 

On 28 April 2022, the UK Government announced a further postponement of planned checks that were due to come into effect from 1 July 2022.  The main controls that are being postponed are:

  • the requirement for further Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks on EU imports to be carried out at Border Control Posts (BCPs). Instead, they will continue to be carried out at destination. This applies to live animals, germinal products and high-risk plants and plant products.
  • the requirement for safety and security declarations on European Union (EU) imports.
  • the requirement for further health certification and SPS checks for EU imports. This applies to products of animal origin, regulated plants and plant products and animal by-products.
  • Prohibitions and restrictions on the import of chilled meats from the EU.

A new target date for the introduction of these controls is the end of 2023.  In the meantime, exporters and their supply chain partners should continue to take the necessary steps to prepare for these additional changes.

If you are a haulier and move goods through a port in the UK that uses the goods vehicle movement service (GVMS), you will need to register for the service to get your goods through customs. You can register on gov.uk.

The Exit Summary Declaration (EXS) must be submitted to UK customs prior to the goods leaving GB. This will impact both transit movements (EU-GB-EU) and exports from GB.