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Customs controls | Phase 2

October 2021: Phased checks – STAGE 2

The UK government will further delay implementation of export health certificates, phytosanitary certificates and safety and security declarations for goods imported from the EU.

Under the revised timetable, pre-notification of sanitary and phytosanitary goods (SPS) will now be introduced at the start of January, pushed back from the intended 1 October date.

Export health and phytosanitary certificates will not be required until 1 July next year, nor will physical checks on SPS goods at border control posts and safety and security declarations.

Minister of state for the Cabinet Office David Frost said: “Businesses will now have more time to prepare for these controls, which will be phased in throughout 2022. We want businesses to focus on their recovery from the pandemic rather than have to deal with new requirements at the border.

“[But] the government remains on track to deliver the new systems, infrastructure and resourcing required.”


Minister of the Cabinet Michael Gove has announced that the phased approach of customs controls has been revised as follows:

  • Pre-notification requirements for Products of Animal Origin (POAO), certain animal by-products (ABP), and High-Risk Food Not Of Animal Origin (HRFNAO) will not be required until 1 October 2021. Export Health Certificate requirements for POAO and certain ABP will come into force on the same date.
  • Customs import declarations will still be required, but the option to use the deferred declaration scheme, including submitting supplementary declarations up to six months after the goods have been imported, has been extended to 1 January 2022.
  • Safety and Security Declarations for imports will not be required until 1 January 2022.
  • Physical SPS checks for POAO, certain ABP, and HRFNAO will not be required until 1 January 2022. At that point, they will take place at Border Control Posts.
  • Physical SPS checks on high-risk plants will take place at Border Control Posts, rather than at the place of destination as now, from 1 January 2022.
  • From 1 October 2021, there will be a need for Exit Summary Declarations for the movement of pallets/packaging, vehicles and empty van/trucks.
  • Pre-notification requirements and documentary checks, including phytosanitary certificates, will be required for low-risk plants and plant products and will be introduced from 1 January 2022.
  • From March 2022, checks at Border Control Posts will take place on live animals and low-risk plants and plant products.

This will be the importer on records’ responsibility.

Drivers will need an original health certificate produced by the exporter for duration of passage to the place of delivery much like for SPS goods exported from the UK. An individual health certificate is required for each species/type of product on the vehicle.

This is the exporter on records’ responsibility.

The commodities that BCPs are equipped to process will differ between BCPs. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the importing/exporting parties to ensure that their goods are routed via an appropriate BCP; importers are typically required to notify the relevant BCP of the goods arrival as part of the pre-notification process as such. This information must be relayed to Speedy Freight.


Moving consignments to and from Europe can be a daunting task, all things considered, it’s no surprise that many importers and exporters of goods between the UK and Europe find themselves needing a refresher on the current status of things. If that sounds like you – don’t worry! Speedy Freight is here to help.

With dedicated teams working on the import and export of goods, Speedy Freight has created our Brexit FAQ’s page along with dedicated Import and Export  pages to really drill down into what you need to know to move consignments to and from Europe.

Lost in a sea of acronyms? Our Brexit Jargon Buster demystifies all the jargon around moving goods to and from Europe after Brexit – getting you ready in no time at all. Partnering with a dedicated international courier service like Speedy Freight takes the stress out of moving goods to and from Europe  – so why not partner with us?

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