Each week we’re listening to the questions that businesses like yours are asking us, and we’re doing all we can to help you to adapt to the changes when trading with the EU.
This week we’re answering questions about:
- Marking your goods as arrived when you export via roll-on roll-off ports, and through other listed locations
- The timeframe for making your supplementary declarations
- Getting help to make your import and export declarations
Question 1: I export through Killingholme Port to my customers in the EU. I’ve been told that when I submit my export declaration I need to mark it as ‘arrived’. Can you tell me how I do this?
Answer: Yes, that’s right. When exporting goods from a roll-on roll-off port or any other listed location, you, or the person submitting your customs declaration, must submit your declaration as ‘arrived’.
The declaration must be submitted as ‘arrived’ in order to finalise the declaration process before your goods reach border locations, where customs controls are being staged in. If the declaration isn’t ‘arrived’, the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system, or the Customs Declarations System (CDS), will not recognise that the goods have left the country.
How to do this if you’re making full export declarations:
Before your goods start their journey, you will need to submit your export declaration as ‘arrived’.
If you’re using the CHIEF system, you can do this by entering:
- ‘A’ in box 1
If you’re using the CDS system you can do this by entering:
- ‘A’ in Data element 1/2.
‘Arrived’ declarations will get assumed departure (CHIEF code ICS 61) at roll-on roll-off and listed locations.
How to do this if you’re using simplified declarations for exports:
Before your goods start their journey, you must submit the pre-shipment advice as ‘arrived’.
If using the CHIEF system, you can do this by entering:
- ‘C’ in box 1
Or if using the CDS system you can do this by entering:
- ‘C’ in Data element 1/2.
You must submit your supplementary declaration within 14 days of your goods’ departure.
If you decide to export excise duty suspended goods (such as alcohol or tobacco) from roll-on roll-off ports or other listed locations, you need to confirm to HMRC that the goods have left the UK by:
- completing form C1602 if an approved loader is not available at your exit location.
Question 2: I delayed submitting customs declarations on some goods that I imported from the EU into Great Britain on 1 January 2021. What’s the latest date that I can make my supplementary declarations for those goods?
Answer: If you are delaying declarations you need to keep an accurate record of what you are importing every time your goods arrive. The kind of information you will need to record includes the date and time of the import, a written description of the goods and the commodity code. More information on what you need to record is available on GOV.UK.
Following this, you will need to submit your delayed supplementary declarations within 175 days of the goods arriving in Great Britain. So, if you imported your goods on 1 January 2021, that means that you will need to make your supplementary declarations by 25 June 2021.
Question 3: I’m a small trader in Great Britain and I’ve only ever traded with businesses in the EU. I’m new to the rules around importing and exporting and I’ve been looking into doing my own customs declarations, but the process seems complicated. Who can help me complete them?
Answer: As you’re new to importing and exporting with the EU, you may be able to get up to £2,000 through the new SME Brexit Support Fund, to pay for practical support, including training or professional advice to adjust to new customs, rules of origin and VAT rules when trading with the EU.
You can also use a customs intermediary who will make your customs declarations for you. This could be:
- Royal Mail and fast parcel operators – who are particularly useful if you’re a small business that is used to sending goods through the post or with parcel operators
- customs brokers and agents who might be better for businesses that trade more regularly
- freight forwarders, who can provide more specialist advice.
If you decide to use an intermediary, make sure you approach them as soon as possible, as there is high demand for these services. You can find a list of businesses that can help on GOV.UK.
There are still specific actions you will need to take if you get an intermediary to help you with your customs declarations. You will:
- be responsible for paying any taxes or duties owed
- be responsible for providing details about your transactions to your chosen intermediary
- need to apply for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number (if you don’t already have one). An intermediary can’t apply for an EORI on your behalf and they will need this to complete your customs declarations. You can apply for an EORI number on GOV.UK. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply, and you will normally receive it in under a week.
For more information, you can:
- attend our live webinar on ‘Trader responsibilities when using an intermediary’
- watch these short films about how a customs agent or intermediary can help you and getting someone to deal with customs for you – how freight forwarders can help.
We’ll continue to provide guidance and support to help you and your business. If you know a business that may also find these weekly emails helpful, please forward it on, or ask them to register to get these updates directly to their inbox.
Katherine Green and Sophie Dean
Directors General, Borders and Trade, HMRC