No new customs checks for EU imports

Since Brexit, your imports from the EU have had a phased roll out of customs checks. This has been to limit the disruption to your trade as each new restriction has been adapted to and implemented by parties throughout your supply chain, instead of making too many changes at once. In July, the last phase of customs checks for EU imports was due to begin; however, this has now been cancelled by the UK Government.

This last stage of controls was to add more import processes to food imports from the EU, and make safety and security declarations mandatory for all shipments. 

The UK Government have recognised that the additional admin at the border, particularly for foodstuffs and shipments using GVMS, would have compounded existing issues with the industry from the pandemic, Russia’s war on Ukraine, a shortage of HGV drivers and hauliers wanting to work across the GB/EU border, and the existing restrictions that were introduced in January. 

Relief for hauliers transiting through Dover

Like every port in the UK, the Port of Dover was due to have additional checks for foodstuffs introduced in July. Additionally, Dover is due to install biometric checks for the EU border in September, which would have meant two huge infrastructure developments in a short space of time. The addition of both of these additional checks would have increased processing times for both Ro/Ro and pedestrian traffic, resulting in longer waiting times for you or your drivers at the port. 

The CEO of the Port of Dover, Doug Bannister, called on the UK Government several weeks ago to work out a solution with the EU ASAP, including the consideration of delaying the new SPS processes as this is within the UK’s control. The removal of these additional customs checks for EU imports means that there will be less pressure on the port once the biometric systems are installed.

What’s next for the UK’s border controls?

The UK Government is removing their focus on customs checks for EU imports and moving towards a universal customs system, the UK Single Trade Window. The purpose of this, as part of the border 2025 strategy, is to digitalise the UK’s border – leveraging live data systems to cut queues and provide better surveillance.

This is due to begin in 2023, following the mandatory migration of import declarations from CHIEF to CDS.

Need assistance with customs checks for EU imports?


If you have required additional checks on your goods so far, you need to check these still apply. You no longer need to prepare for July if you haven’t required these so far.

If you have not discussed CDS with your customs broker, then you need to talk to them about upcoming changes to your declarations. Although similar, the move will affect how your customs paperwork looks and you may have to get your supplier to present information clearer on the paperwork. 

Universal Customs Clearance will be updating our customers as we migrate their declarations over to the new Customs Declaration Service system, and aim to be migrated ahead of the deadlines set by HMRC. These changes will automatically be integrated into our GVMS customers’ process so that they do not experience an interruption in service.
If you would like more information on customs checks for EU shipments, please contact one of our experts for more information.


* indicates required
customs checks for EU imports - Cropped
Scroll to Top