New UK border import controls Jan 1st 2022

The UK Government is implementing full import controls for goods being imported from the EU to the GB from January 2022


Customs Approvals from January 2022

Any frontier location (Port, Wharf, RoRo location, Rail Terminal or Airport) that receives or dispatches freight from outside of the GB will need to be a customs approved area.

Goods imported from the EU will be subject to standard customs control from January 2022

There are two main customs processes that goods can be imported into, and which process applies will depend on what location the goods are imported through. Border locations can either use the temporary storage model, or the newly developed pre-lodgement model (developed as an alternative for ports that may not have the space and infrastructure to operate temporary storage). Border locations receiving goods that are moving into GB from the EU will be able to choose between these two models:

  • The pre-lodgement model, where goods arriving will be required to have submitted a customs declaration in advance of boarding on the EU side

Under the pre-lodgement model, to achieve customs control whilst maintaining flow, industry must:  

  • Ensure all goods have the appropriate declarations before they board
  • Communicate to the person in control of the goods (e.g. the driver of a lorry for accompanied goods or the carrier for unaccompanied goods) by the time they arrive at the border, to inform them whether goods are cleared to proceed on their journey or alternatively whether the goods require a check.


  • The traditional Temporary Storage model, where goods coming into GB can be stored at the frontier for up to 90 days before being declared to customs

Goods without pre-lodged declarations enter a Temporary Storage approved area on arrival in the port (with a valid Temporary Storage authorisation and inventory linking in place).

For re-directed shipments, It is possible to change as long as the requirements for the relevant model in operation at the new location are followed.

The Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS)

HMRC has developed a new IT platform to support the pre-lodgement model, called the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS). However, its use will not be mandatory and the choice between using a Temporary Storage and a pre-lodgement model will be a commercial decision for border location operators. Hauliers, carriers and traders using a particular border location will need to familiarise themselves with the different steps that they will need to take to move their goods through it depending on the model that applies. The UK Government will provide a list of sites which will use the pre-lodgement model once this border locations have made their commercial decision.

More about The Goods Vehicle Movement Service

Delaying customs declarations will not be available from January 2022 onwards.

Importers bringing or receiving goods from the EU from January 1st, 2022, will need to ensure they have:

Import Declarations

Declarations will need to be made to either the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) or Customs Declaration Service (CDS). The information needed for the vast majority of movements will be set out in the UK trade Tariff (Volume 3).

When making an import declaration the Location Code of the site through which the consignment will enter must be included.


Calculation of Tariff

The tariff payable will be established using the commodity code, the customs value of the goods, and the origin of the goods. It is not affected by the location of import. This is set out in Volume 2 of the UK trade tariff.

The tariffs applicable to UK importers can be found here.

The latest Government guidance on importing and exporting goods is available here.

Back to news

Request a
call back

I'm interested in