VAT News

1 January 2022 changes for EU imports to the UK mainland


Last year, after the end of the Brexit transition period, there were major VAT and Customs changes to import and export rules for GB businesses trading with EU parties. Centurion worked with many existing as well as new clients to identify what was relevant to them, providing VAT compliance advice to help them plan their supply chains going forward. 

2022 Changes:

We have had more change from 1 January this year as the UK moved on to the implementation of full Customs declarations – we had less strict rules for declarations last year, allowing UK importers time to adjust to the changes – and increased physical inspection of imported goods too.  From 1 January 2022 the two- stage import declarations that some businesses used last year to allow them to defer payment of import duty on EU imports has stopped and businesses that are involved in importing animal products or animal by-products to the UK mainland have additional reporting requirements under the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS). 

Good Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS)

The use of the Good Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) was another important change from the start of this year. Any GB business that imports from the EU using road freight will  be affected by the requirement for hauliers to use GVMS for goods entering the UK mainland from the EU through certain GB ports.

Businesses that are involved in haulage, including those businesses that use their own transport, need to register for GVMS and we have included a link to current government information on how to do that HERE. Use of GVMS very much ties in with the UK’s (excluding Northern Ireland) move to applying full customs controls on EU imports from the 1st January, with precise requirements on quality and completeness of Customs declarations to HMRC.

The unique reference number (Goods Movement Reference or GMR) that is generated for every movement of goods has to be known and reported throughout the export - import delivery process so communication between all parties involved in the process is absolutely key and our view is that EU suppliers as well as hauliers must understand this.

Where a port is using GVMS, hauliers will need to communicate their GMRs to EU export and GB import agents and the hauliers coming to the UK mainland will need to be advised of the relevant HMRC import entry number before they arrive here and be told by the import declarant if and where they will have to present the goods for inspection to HMRC before the delivery to destination. HMRC have issued a clear message that if a GMR is required at a GB port but is not provided for the import declaration the goods will not be cleared for import.                

How Centurion can help:  

Our VAT support to clients across all sectors from Universities to Manufacturers – services or goods suppliers - continues in 2022 as we undertake Brexit VAT Reviews to deal with:

•            Imports of goods and services,

•            Exports of goods and services,

•            Mapping and implementing client’s procedures and practices,

•            Training staff and,

•            Writing internal guidance for them.

If this is an area you or your clients are experiencing problems with and still need to look at please do get in touch with your usual Centurion contact or at


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