The government has confirmed that import controls on goods from the European Union will begin after the Brexit “transition period” ends on 31 December 2020.
In a speech on Monday, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, said the government will introduce import controls on EU goods at the border next year, which will “inevitably” result in regulatory checks.
Traders in the EU and the UK will have to submit customs declarations and be liable to goods checks after the transition period ends. Gove confirmed the policy easements put in place for a potential no-deal exit will not be reintroduced, as businesses have time to prepare.
He said: “The UK will be outside the single market and outside the customs union, so we will have to be ready for the customs procedures and regulatory checks that will inevitably follow.”
“As a result of that, we will be in a stronger position, not just to make sure that our economy succeeds outside the European Union but that we are in a position to take advantage of new trading relationships with the rest of the world.”
He added that all UK exports and imports will be “treated equally”.
The government said businesses can prepare for border controls by making sure they have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, and by looking into how they want to make declarations such as using a customs agent. It said it “will ensure facilitations currently available to rest of the world traders will also be open to those trading between GB and EU”.