At the UK border

Due to Brexit, the United Kingdom (UK) will sharply tighten the customs formalities. Make sure you are prepared for this in time. In this way you will avoid being stuck at the UK border or even in the Dutch port. This page tells you in brief which customs regulations you must comply with.

Please note! The information below is the new timetable as announced by the British government in September 2021.

Laatste update
30 September 2021 00:25

Present situation

Border Operating Model
phase 1

For all parties exporting to the UK

Limited control of imports at the English border.

1 January 2022

Border Operating Model
phase 2

Action needed now 

  • Introduction of pre-lodgement and temporary storage model
  • End of six-month postponement of import declarations

1 July 2022

Border Operating Model
phase 3

Important for all parties exporting to the UK

  • Certification of veterinary and phytosanitary goods
  • Cargo inspection at Border Control Posts
  •  Mandatory security declarations – ENS

Tightenings per 1 January and 1 July 2022

Due to Brexit, you will also have to deal with customs formalities at the British border from now on. The introduction of these customs rules, which are laid down in the Border Operating Model (BOM), will take place in stages. In the current phase 1, checks are still limited. But watch out! Next phases require your attention.

  • Present situation - phase 1 Border Operating Model

    For imports from the EU, UK importers have two options until 31 December 2021 for standard goods. They can file an import declaration immediately upon entry, or they can choose to register the goods in their own administration in a simplified way. The declaration will then be submitted six months later. In practice, this means that there are currently hardly any delays, if any at all, at the British border.

    The exceptions

    1. Import rules and border controls in the UK already apply to a limited group of goods on the controlled list.
    2. For live animals and ‘high risk’ agricultural goods, such as trees and perennials, a veterinary or phytosanitary health certificate is required for entry into the UK. This certificate is issued by an inspection service – such as the NVWA – in the country of origin.
  • 1 January 2022 - Phase 2 Border Operating Model

    1. Access to the UK via pre-lodgement or temporary storage model
      As from 1 January 2022, cargo will be admitted to the British ports via the pre-lodgement or temporary storage model. Each port makes its own choices in this respect. The Dutch ferry companies strive to apply a combination of both models in their British ports of call.
    2.  An import declaration is required immediately upon entry into the UK. The six months postponement scheme will cease to exist.
  • 1 July 2022 - phase 3 Border Operating Model

    1. Mandatory certification of veterinary and phytosanitary cargo

      For imports into the UK of meat, eggs, dairy products, fishery products and products of animal origin, a health certificate is mandatory as of 1 July 2022. This also applies to phytosanitary cargo, such as cut flowers, vegetables and fruit. No entry without certificate. As a Dutch exporter, you must apply for the certificate digitally to the NVWA or, for specific products, to one of the other inspection services, prior to transport. You can do this via e-CERTNL.

      Want to know more? NVWA is the veterinary Brexit information desk
      For all Brexit information about the transport of veterinary cargo, the NVWA website in the Netherlands is the central point of entry. The NVWA also announces current changes in rules via various Trade Notices for Export and Import. You can subscribe to these free of charge. More insight into the process of importing veterinary cargo from the UK to the Netherlands is also provided by this visual infographic.

    2. Cargo inspection at Border Control Posts

      The UK will inspect veterinary and phytosanitary cargo at the external border from 1 July 2022. This will take place at Border Control Posts (BCP).

    3. Mandatory security declarations – ENS

      Prior to entry into the UK, an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) will be required for all cargo as of 1 July 2022. Up-to-date information about this can be found on the UK government website.