Transitional simplified procedures

Find out how simplified import procedures can help when you bring goods from the EU, if the UK leaves without a deal.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK businesses that import goods will need to apply the same procedures to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.

HMRC has introduced transitional simplified procedures to help businesses import goods from the EU. We’ll review them 3 to 6 months after they’re introduced.

This guidance does not apply to moving goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Sign up for EU Exit email alerts to find out when new guidance about this is published.

What transitional simplified procedures are

Under import rules for trading with the rest of the world, goods are not released from customs control until you’ve made a full import declaration and paid customs duty in full.

Transitional simplified procedures reduce the amount of information you need to give in an import declaration when the goods are crossing the border from the EU. They do this by letting you delay:

  • submitting a full declaration
  • paying any duty

If you already trade outside of the EU

If you already trade outside the EU and have a customs agent or software, you can use these to make declarations for your EU-UK trade. You can also choose to register for transitional simplified procedures, but check with your software provider or customs agent about any additional customs rules you’ll need to comply with after EU exit.

Controlled goods

Controlled goods are things like excise goods (for example, alcohol and tobacco) and some goods that need a licence to import.

If you’re importing goods from the EU that are on the transitional simplified procedures controlled goods list, you’ll need to use the controlled goods procedure.

Standard goods

If you’re importing goods that are not on the transitional simplified procedures controlled goods list, you’ll need to use the standard goods procedure.

If you’re importing controlled goods as well as standard goods, you can choose to use the controlled goods procedure for both.

If HMRC withdraws these procedures

If we decide to withdraw these procedures we’ll give you a 12 month notice period. This will give you time to prepare your business to follow the full import processes for trading.

If this happens, you may choose to:

  • use a third party (for example freight forwarder or customs broker) to complete declarations for you
  • become authorised to use customs freight simplified procedures
  • complete full declarations yourself

Registering for transitional simplified procedures

Find out if you can register to use transitional simplified procedures to import goods from the EU into the UK.

Published 4 February 2018