In the wake of the post-Brexit transitionary period, the UK revamped many of its export and import policies and conventions. Many of the steps that were taken by Great Britain at this time were toward frontier operations and to control the flow of goods from the EU into Great Britain.

In this vein, Great Britain is now using the pre-lodgement model to gain better control over the goods that come into the UK from EU member states. Accordingly, this pragmatic approach to import control has caused the UK to delay the introduction of many imports until complete controls are in place by the beginning of 2022.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about pre-lodgement when importing goods to the UK. If you are a port, wharf, or other frontier operator, who dispatches or receives freight from the EU, this article will help you understand how these changes affect you.

The Pre-Lodgement Model

In advance of goods being boarded on freight on the EU side, traders will be required to submit a customs declaration. According to the pre-lodgement model, the carrier of the goods (train, ferry, or plane operator) must ensure that a declaration has been pre-lodged prior to the good being boarded at the EU departure point.

During the crossing of the goods, HM Revenue and Customs will assess the risk of the lodged declarations, and once the imports have been cleared or not, the operator of the carrier will be informed. Accordingly, this ensures that checks are only carried out when required and that most imported goods will be cleared to continue their journey once they have arrived in the UK.

If the goods in question have not been cleared, however, they will be held by the frontier operators at the relevant location until HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) indicate that the goods are cleared for import.

Import Timeline under the Pre-Lodgement Model

According to the pre-lodgement model of UK imports that is now underway, traders, carriers, and frontier operators will have to follow the following steps:

Step One: Trader

The trader of the goods being imported to the UK must ensure that all EU goods being imported to mainland Britain have had customs declarations submitted in advance of the goods being boarded onto carriers on the EU side.

All customs declarations of goods being imported to the UK from EU states must be made through HMRC-approved IT systems.

Step Two: Carrier

Before boarding the goods on the carrier, the carrier operator must make sure that customs declarations have been submitted for all goods on board.

Step Three: Frontier Locations

In case the frontier location is not mandated for pre-lodgement, the frontier operators must inform carriers that goods should not arrive at the site without pre-lodgement declarations.

Step Four: Goods Released

If goods arriving at the frontier location are selected for checking, they will be subjected to customs compliance activities either at an inland site or the border location in question.

Final Words

In the wake of the post-Brexit transition period, the UK has revamped its policies and regulations concerning imports coming to the UK from EU states. Accordingly, all imports must follow the pre-lodgement model, which is the responsibility of traders, carriers, and frontier operators to carry out.

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