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The new code has implications for those dealers who use the Temporary Admissions (TA) arrangements or a Customs Warehouse when moving art and antiques in and out of the UK.

Mark Dodgson, secretary general of BADA, has identified two elements of the UCC that will most impact the trade. However, given delays and the late provision of the information (it was meant to come into effect in 2013), he expects dealers will be given time to adapt to the new rules.

Under the new law all import and export declarations must be submitted electronically rather than via a paper copy approved manually by a customs official. BADA, who welcome this new streamlining arrangement, have been told there will be a period of transition up to the end of 2020.

The UCC will also impact on those who have been granted Customs Warehouse status. This permits dealers to delay payment of import VAT (charged at 5% for antiques and works of art) until an imported artefact is sold, regardless of how long it takes to sell. Those with a Customs Warehouse may be asked to provide financial guarantees to cover VAT on stored goods.

BADA will be keeping its members informed as more details of the UCC changes emerge over the coming weeks.