Following Brexit, the British Government and EU have been working together to adjust the Customs Rules on moving goods between the UK and Europe.

To prevent a hard border in Ireland, The Northern Ireland Protocol has legislated that the whole island will have the same customs rules, aligned to those of Europe. This means that businesses moving goods between NI (Northern Ireland) and the UK must also adhere to the 2022 Customs changes.

The latest round of rule changes starts 1 January 2022 and is largely focused on preparing UK businesses to import goods from the EU and NI.

While you may not directly import goods from these countries, it is worth checking your supply chain partners are ready for the changes, and that their impact will not result in delays delivering your goods.

Read on for a timeline of the 2022 Customs updates and guidance.

1 JANUARY 2022

Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January 2022; this means when importing any goods from a European country (as well as NI) your carrier must have your ENS (Entry Summary Declaration) lodged before your goods reach the UK border.

However, before your carrier can submit your ENS, they must be registered for either the S&S GB service for bringing goods into England, Scotland and Wales or the Import Control System Northern Ireland for bringing goods into NI.

While it is the legal requirement of the carrier to submit the ENS on your behalf, you must ensure they have the information needed— by properly completing your shipment’s commercial invoice.

The next thing to remember is that from 1 January 2021 you also must provide pre-notification of SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) goods, such as livestock.

Businesses making SPS declarations must pre-notify consignments at least four hours before their arrival in the UK, using the IPAFFS (Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System) portal.

In addition to this, from January, livestock checks will take place at designated BCPs (Border Control Posts) at all operational facilities. Where there is no designated BCP in operation nearby, checks will remain at destination ports.

1 JULY 2022

From 1 July 2022, certification and physical checks will be required at the UK border for EU and NI imports of all remaining regulated animal by-products, all regulated plants and plant products, all meat and meat products, as well as all remaining high-risk food not of animal origin.

Also from this date, customs checks on high-priority plants and plant products will transfer from place of destination to designated BCPs.


Then from 1 September 2022, all dairy products being imported from EU or NI to the UK will require certification and physical checks to get through the border.


Next, on 1 November 2022, certification and physical checks will be introduced for all remaining regulated products of animal origin, including composite products and fish products.


While these are the current deadlines for compliance with UK Customs changes, they have in the past been pushed back to allow UK businesses time to recover from the global COVID19 pandemic. So, it is always worth checking the UK Government and UK Customs Academy websites for updates.