Brexit - Borders

Transition Period

During the transition period (also known as the implementation period), it would be business as usual for customs arrangements, declarations and trusted trader schemes. The UK government stated its ambition at the 2018 Budget to halve the time it takes to achieve the accredited status of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) – a form of ‘trusted trader’.


If the ‘backstop arrangement’ comes into force the Political Declaration is to avoid border formalities, but specifics will need to be further clarified. A new movement certificate, ‘A.UK’, will be required for goods moving within the single customs territory of the UK and the EU. Customs authorities may in some cases conduct inspections to verify submitted documents, but verifications do not need to mean at the border.

Post Transition / Backstop

Post transition or backstop arrangement, the type of customs inspections will depend on how closely the UK is aligned with EU rules. The Political Declaration refers to ambitious custom arrangement planned with various arrangements and technologies for trade facilitation. But ultimately this will depend on the outcome of future negotiations. The PD points to the potential for mutual recognition of trusted trader schemes, but the UK would need to set up its own scheme and seek mutual international recognition.

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