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Traders warned to prepare for 1 January

15 December 2021

Traders are being warned that, unless they’re prepared for rule changes which take effect on 1 January, goods being imported from the European Union could be detained by the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service (JCIS).

In order to ease the impact of Brexit, since 1 January 2021, JCIS has permitted Approved Traders to complete their customs declaration up to 30 days after their goods were released. From 1 January 2022, this special dispensation – referred to as an easement – will come to an end. It means that goods imported from the EU will be treated the same as any other third country, and customs declarations must be submitted on or before arrival.

Mark Cockerham, Head of the Customs and Immigration Service, said: “We will have to detain goods if we do not receive a customs declaration on or before arrival, and our concern is that this could potentially affect the smooth operation of supply chains for some traders.

“For the past year we’ve been advising Approved Traders that this change was on its way, but there may be some who are still unprepared and could therefore be adversely affected by the changes, which is something we want to avoid.”

Since 1 January 2021, the UK (and consequently Jersey) has subjected goods arriving from the EU to the same controls as goods from the rest of the world.

The Minister for Home Affairs, Deputy Gregory Guida, said: “The easement, and its cessation, have both been as a result of Jersey’s membership of the UK/Crown Dependencies Customs Union, under which all goods entering the Union must be treated the same, and we are committed to the same controls on imports as the other members.

“Officers have been communicating with all Approved Traders during 2021 and have run briefing sessions through business groups to help importers understand the rules. While it is appreciated that this may mean increased administration, it is important importers don’t ignore the change. There is information online, shippers have been briefed, and JCIS are able to provide advice for anyone who needs it.”

Businesses are advised to:

  • Review their supply chain
  • Determine what they are importing from the EU (some products may not actually originate from the EU)
  • Check that they have the skills / knowledge needed to manage the admin
  • If they don’t have it in-house, get training or go to a customs agent

This change will only affect Approved Traders; traders who are not approved have not enjoyed the easement. Approved Traders will still have 30 days from the release of their goods to pay any tax.

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