On the 15th of August the Government released their policy paper 'Future Customs Arrangements: a future partnership paper' on proposed customs arrangements with the EU post-Brexit. They proposed a 'limited-time interim period' where both UK and EU business would benefit from time to fully implement the new customs arrangements, in order to avoid a cliff-edge.
The document identifies two broad approaches to a border with the EU. The first approach 'a highly streamlined customs arrangement' involves utilising the UK’s existing third country processes (NES export declarations to HMRC) for UK-EU trade. The second approach 'a new customs partnership with the EU' would seek to align customs with the EU in a way that removes the need for a UK-EU customs border.
On the surface, option one seems the most likely of these two options and would certainly be the fallback position, should the 'alignment approach' fail. Under this scenario port infrastructure would look to be improved for 'as frictionless a customs border as possible', but Export and Import goods would need to be declared to HMRC, as per current third country rules.
HMRC has estimated there are 192,000 exporters in the UK who ship goods to EU countries, but have never shipped outside the EU to third countries. If your company fits into this category, read the guide below to find what you would need to do to declare goods for export.