The government has told businesses frictionless trade with the EU will end this year with the introduction of import checks at the UK border.
EU trade will not be waved through with zero checks which had been the plan under a no-deal Brexit. Traders will not be able to use special arrangements to lodge new paperwork after a grace period at a later date.
Officials said firms will have enough notice to prepare for changes in time for 1 January.
From next January, all traders will have to submit customs declarations and be liable to goods’ checks for customs, regulatory standards and food safety on cross channel ferries, for example.
These facilities, as well as the Channel Tunnel, have been designed for minimal border checks. In order to function, new customs infrastructure, facilities and systems as well as staff, agents and vets will have to be in place by the end of this year.