Passing Customs in 2021, What Changed?

Customs is an authority responsible for the flow of goods in and out of a given country. In recent times, trade facilitation is one of the main objectives of customs, along with security and taxation. The basic rules for customs clearance vary from country to country. However, these can change, in response to certain economical or political events. Our pro relocation companies in Jeddah will review some major changes unfolding so far, in terms of passing customs in 2021. Find out what those are in the text that follows.

Passing customs in 2021, changes so far

Customs clearance procedures are a complex task. Customs declaration forms must be filled out correctly, otherwise, hefty penalties apply. That’s why is recommendable to take assistance from dependable Bahrain customs clearance agents and take a big load off your back. Albeit the basic rules for declaration remain the same, there are some alterations in customs laws, that bring big changes for shippers, and in some cases, for passengers too. So, let’s focus on the major ones that unfolded so far, and see how passing customs in 2021 will be different in:

  • The UK and the effect of Brexit
  • EU Vat De Minimis removal
  • Saudi Arabia and Qatar resume trade
  • India and the changes of customs duty
A woman with a dog in a car, and a customs officer
There are several changes in customs policies in 2021 worldwide

Change of customs rules between the UK and EU

Since the EU is a customs union, travelers within it enjoy certain benefits. For example, applicable taxes and duties on goods aren’t collected at the border, but when and if the goods are sold. This and other benefits in regards to freight forwarding have changed between the UK and EU, and are valid since the beginning of this year. Customs clearance in 2021 will be accompanied by additional checks, rules, and requirements that previously weren’t there. Even online shopping comes with additional customs duties, value-added tax, or VAT, and handling fees. In other words, purchasing goods of European origin in the UK and vice versa is a lot more expensive now. This is the current trade deal between the UK and the EU, and there are speculations that the rules may change soon.

Get ready for Brexit title in a newspaper
Customs rules are different for UK and EU citizens from the beginning of this year

EU introduces a few changes in customs regulations

Starting July this year, the customs declaration of all consignments will be fully electronic. Further, an advanced notification on transport prior to shipment of all deliveries from third countries is required. This will affect all cargo shipments from anywhere in the world, including those in transit. This is in order to enhance security. As to prevent inequality between EU companies and those outside the EU, who are exempt from VAT, the import VAT exemption limit (VAT de Minimis) will be removed also. This concerns the low-value goods, in the price range of €10 and €150. To simplify, the low-value consignment relief so far is still active. It’s often used as a tax loophole for online sellers outside the EU. Hence, the VAT de Minimis discontinuation, starting from July this year.

Passing customs in 2021, what’s new in the Middle East?

Although nothing drastic, there are some changes in customs in the Middle East so far. KSA has had its’ fair share of customs policies review, mainly in the area of tax benefits in a special economic zone. However, the major news that concerns the region is the restoring of diplomatic relations with Qatar. After a 3 years dispute, KSA, UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain have reinstated ties with Doha. The trade of goods between KSA and Qatar has resumed mid-February 2021. In this case, passing customs in 2021 is followed by necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Anyway, this is good news for the economy of the region.

KSA and Qatar have resumed the trade of goods in February 2021

Changes of customs duty and India’s budget plan

Under India’s Union Budget 2021, there are suggestions for changes in customs duties. This is still awaiting approval. But, what will it mean if it passes? In short, many items with common use, like mobile phones or air conditioners will get more expensive. Like so, due to hike in customs duties on imported goods. On the other hand, import duties on precious materials will be lower. Hence, silver and gold will get cheaper.

Finally, these are the major events so far, that change the process of passing customs in 2021. The results are tightened security measures and rising tariffs. We hope you find the info above useful. Good luck and stay safe.

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