HMRC have published a UK Transition Special Employer Bulletin. We summarise the key content for you.

New rules for trading with Europe

  • New customs and tax rules for trading with the EU started on 1 January 2021.
  • To continue trading with countries in the EU, there are actions you must take to make sure that you are compliant and so that you can minimise costs and delays.
  • Before you move your goods, you will need to:
    • Get ready to make customs declarations.
      • These are now needed for all exports from the UK and if you are importing controlled goods. If you import goods that are not controlled, you may be able to delay making your declarations for up to six months.
    • Get expert help.
      • HMRC recommend getting a contract in place as soon as you can with a customs intermediary like a freight forwarder or customs broker. This is especially important if you are exporting or importing controlled goods, as you will not be able to delay your declarations.
    • Make sure that you know how to classify your goods and how you will evidence their origin.
      • If you do not classify your goods correctly or if you do not accurately record the origin of the goods in your customs declaration, you may be charged the wrong amount of tax or duty. 
    • Follow safety and security requirements for your goods, you do not need to make an entry summary declaration for goods you import into Great Britain from the EU between 1 January and 30 June 2021.
      • If you are moving goods outside the UK, you will need to make an exit summary declaration if you have not fulfilled safety and security requirements with a customs export declaration, unless the goods are covered by the limited temporary waiver or are going directly into Northern Ireland from Great Britain. 
    • If you are preparing to move goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol, register for the free Trader Support Service.

For further assistance, HMRC have produced free webinars, a short film, created a 'transition checker' and operate a Customs and International Trade Helpline.  

See Exporting goods from GB from January 2021 and Importing goods into GB from 1 January 2021

New rules for business travellers

If you are travelling abroad after 1 January 2021 for business purposes, there are some changes to rules to be aware of.

Bringing commercial goods in accompanied baggage or in a small motor vehicle into and out of Great Britain

  • You need to complete a simple online declaration when entering or leaving Great Britain if you are carrying goods to sell or use by a business with a value not exceeding £1,500 and not:
    • Weighing more than 1,000kg.
    • Classed as excise or restricted goods.
  • You can do this either by an online declaration up to five days of arriving or leaving Great Britain or make an oral declaration to a Border Force officer at the port by going to the ‘goods to declare’ channel (red channel) or redpoint phone when going through customs if facilities exist.
  • If you are moving commercial goods exceeding £1,500 in value or weighing more than 1,000kg or if you are carrying excise or restricted goods, you or your customs agent must submit a full standard customs declaration to HMRC.

Bringing commercial goods in accompanied baggage into and out of Northern Ireland (including travelling to Northern Ireland from Great Britain)

  • You can make an oral declaration if the goods have a value less than £873, weigh less than 1,000 kg and are not classed as excise or restricted goods.
    • You can go to the ‘goods to declare’ red channel or the red point phone in the customs area to declare your goods to a Border Force officer if these facilities exist at the Northern Ireland port. You can also submit a declaration to HMRC using the Trader Support Service.
  • For goods over £873 or that weigh more than 1,000kg or classed as excise or restricted you must submit a declaration to HMRC using the Trader Support Service.
  • For movements between Northern Ireland and the EU there are no changes to the rules and goods can move without a customs declaration.

Cash Declarations

With effect from 1 January 2021, new requirements came into force on the UK borders.

Bringing cash into and out of Northern Ireland (including travelling to Northern Ireland from Great Britain)

  • You need to make a declaration if you are carrying 10,000 euros or the equivalent in any other currency of cash and travelling to or from a non-EU country.
  • You also need to make a declaration if you are carrying 10,000 euros or more of cash and travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
    • You can make the declaration at any time in the 72 hours before the time of travel.
  • If you carry cash of 10,000 euros or more in or out of Northern Ireland, you do not need to declare if you are entering or leaving a country in the EU.
  • You also do not need to make a declaration when you are taking cash from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.

Bringing cash into and out of Great Britain

  • You need to make a declaration if you are carrying £10,000 or more into or out of Great Britain from any country, including the EU.
  • You do not need to make a declaration when you are taking cash from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.

New rules on social security coordination

Sending employees to work in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

  • The social security coordination rules have changed following the end of the transition period. If you are an employer who sends people to work in:
    • The EU.
    • Iceland.
    • Liechtenstein.
    • Norway.
    • Switzerland.
  • If you work in the EU, Norway or Switzerland, you will only have to pay into one country’s social security scheme at a time. This will usually be in the country where the work takes place.
  • If you are only working temporarily in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein you may be able to get a certificate or document from HMRC to carry on paying National Insurance contributions in the UK. This means you will not have to pay social security contributions abroad.

Sending employees to work in the UK

  • If you are an employer who sends people to work in the UK, your employee will only have to pay into one country’s social security scheme at a time. This will usually be in the UK if that is where the work takes place.
  • If they are only working temporarily in the UK, they may be able to get a certificate or document to carry on paying social security contributions in:
    • The EU.
    • Norway.
    • Iceland.
    • Switzerland.
    • Liechtenstein.
  • This means they will not have to pay social security contributions in the UK. You should check where they will need to pay social security contributions.

External link

Employer Bulletin: UK Transition Special Edition


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