An overview of some key points of interest for our sectors, with relevant links to the detailed content for each aspect.


  1. Tariff suspensions regime - on Weds 16 December the legislation implementing the announcement of the UK Global Tariff (made back in May 2020) was laid before Parliament as part of a wider legislative package (see announcement  here).  This package included legislating to suspend import duties on certain goods in cases where the competitiveness of UK businesses would otherwise be harmed.  The SIs and associated explanatory memorandums will be available on the legislation page in due course. Reference documents will be available on the customs, VAT and excise UK transition legislation from 1 January 2021 page in due course.  The legislation for the duty suspensions regime confirms the rolling over of existing suspensions that already apply in the UK as part of the EU customs union, and transitioning non-agri autonomous tariff quotas into simple, time-limited suspensions.. The rolled-over tariff suspensions will be in force for an initial period of 12 months.   The Government will conduct a stakeholder engagement exercise in the first half of 2021, which will inform any subsequent decision on the UK’s long-term suspensions regime.


  1. The Goods Vehicle Movement Serviceinformation has been published for hauliers which move goods through a port in the UK that uses the Goods Vehicle Movement Service.  Hauliers will need to register for the service to get goods through customs.  More information on how to move goods through ports that use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service, is available here.  And details of how to register have been published here.


  1. ECMT international road haulage permits - Guidance has been updated to confirm that emails have been sent to tell applicants if they’ve been allocated an ECMT permit for 2021 (permits were heavily oversubscribed).  More information is available here.  These letters set out that “if there is agreement on an FTA it is probable that it will provide certain rights for UK hauliers to access EU markets without the need for ECMT permits”.  And “furthermore it remains the Government’s view that in the absence of agreement on an FTA the EU is likely to adopt a ‘temporary connectivity’ measure which would also allow UK hauliers to continue business to and from the EU for a number of months, again without the need for ECMT permits. The Government would use the lifetime of such a measure to put in place more permanent arrangements to allow UK hauliers to access EU markets and vice versa without the need for ECMT permits.”  Related to this, on 10 December, the EU published a “REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on common rules ensuring basic road freight and road passenger connectivity following the end of the transition period…”available here.  The plans are designed to ensure that “basic connectivity” for road freight and passenger transport can continue for six months after the transition period ends if no deal is reached, provided that reciprocal arrangements are put in place in the UK for EU operators.  For example, the “proposed Regulation provides for the unilateral granting of rights for bilateral carriage to road haulage operators established in United Kingdom so that they can continue to carry goods between their territory and the Union.”


  1. The Check a HGV service is now live here


  1. Traders can apply for the NI trusted trader scheme here.


  1. The second edition of the haulier handbook went live on on 14 December and is available here (it’s an update of the haulier handbook which was published in November; the key addition is on traffic management).


  1. HMRC will also continue to run webinars into the new year – businesses can sign up here.


  1. Key helpdesks:
  • HMRC Customs & International Trade Helpline will be the main route for general customs queries.  The helpline operates via 0300 322 9434 and has webchat capability via here.

Opening hours

  • M-F 08.00-20.00 (from 14/12)
  • Sat 08.00-16.00 (from 2/1)
  • HMRC National Clearance Hub supports border movements. This will continue to operate 24/7 through the Christmas and New Year period. Contact details are: 0300 322 7900. More info here.
  • HMRC Borders support for businesses that have questions around a specific consignment that is already live in transit. The email address is
  • Tariffs – businesses are being directed to this link
  • NCCC helpdesk – chem regulations queries, incl. IT queries relating to Comply With REACH – [details to follow]


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