Importing goods to the UK has changed, are you ready?
HMRC is changing the way Customs declarations are handled for goods moving into and out of the UK. HMRC’s current customs software, known as CHIEF, will be replaced by the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS). From 30 September 2022 all cargo arriving into the UK will need to be submitted to the new CDS system.
This change will require you to take action to ensure your goods continue to be customs cleared and delivered.
Step 1: Register for a Government Gateway account
Most businesses will already have a Government Gateway account to access their personal or business tax accounts. You should use this account to access the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).
If you do not have one, you can register for a Government Gateway account here:
Step 2: Apply for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification number
You need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number that starts with GB. Most businesses moving goods in and out of the UK already have one.
You can apply for an EORI number if you do not have one already. It is free and it only takes 10 minutes to apply. You should receive your EORI number within a week, but it can take longer during busy periods.
You can apply for an EORI number here: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/shortforms/form/EORIVAT
Step 3: Register for the Customs Declaration Service (CDS)
Use this link:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-access-to-the-customs-declaration-service?dm_i=4CR4,1BRGY,4LEOIM,64N41,1 to register for the Customs Declaration Service this can take up to 5 working days.
You will need your Government Gateway user ID and password as well as:
- Your GB EORI number
- Your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number - you can find this here: https://www.gov.uk/find-lost-utr-number?dm_i=4CR4,1BRGY,4LEOIM,64N41,1
- Address of your business held on customs records
- Your National Insurance number (if you are an individual or sole trader)
- The date you started your business
Step 4: Paying VAT and Duty
You can choose the payment method which is best for your declaration. You can view your balances and payments in the CDS Financial Dashboard, as well as grant and amend standing authorities for your payment accounts.
The main payment methods you can choose from are: -
- Duty deferment account – the CDS uses a separate HMRC bank account to CHIEF, so you’ll need to set up a new direct debit here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/set-up-a-direct-debit-for-a-duty-deferment-account-on-the-customs-declaration-service
- Postponed VAT accounting – if you’re making declarations for yourself and your business is registered for VAT in the UK, find out when you can, or need to, account for import VAT on your VAT return: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-when-you-can-account-for-import-vat-on-your-vat-return
You can also choose:-
- Cash account – these replace the Flexible Accounting System (FAS), and you’ll be set up with one once you’ve registered for the: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/use-a-cash-account-for-cds-declarations
Customs Declaration Service: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/use-a-cash-account-for-cds-declarations
- Immediate payment by BACS, CHAPS, online or by telephone banking – you can pay by debit, corporate credit card or cheque: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pay-for-imports-declared-using-the-customs-declaration-service
- Individual guarantee – you can use these to cover customs duties for one-off or high value imports: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-an-individual-guarantee-to-cover-customs-debts
- General guarantee account – this allows you to provide multiple guarantees from the same account and continue importing goods into the UK and pay a disputed amount at a later date once agreed: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-general-guarantee-account-and-pay-disputed-amounts
Step 5: Instruct your Customs Broker or Agent
You need to give your Broker or Agent customs clearance instructions, which are compliant with the CDS. You may need to:
- use the CDS Finance Dashboard to set up, check or update which Customs Brokers or Agents can use your accounts
- let them know about any changes to your preferred method of payment
- let them know about the Incoterms, awareness for all values, the location information, and nature of transaction information
To provide an authority: Open Customs financial accounts: https://www.access.service.gov.uk/login/signin/creds
- Go to “Manage account authorities”
- Input NTEX Ltd EORI number GB310747385000.
- Tick “duty deferment” option
When completed and permission granted, please confirm to firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information please see the attached Trader Checklist or visit HMRC website at the link below:-
See below links that you may find useful. These are HMRC videos that are short and ideal for you to take further information from:
How to subscribe to the Customs Declaration Service - YouTube:
How to set up a Direct Debit instruction on the Customs Declaration Service (one signature) - YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFLmZ1sm3nM
How to set up a Direct Debit instruction on the Customer Declaration Service (multiple signatures) - YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzwXV920Oe4
How to set up a standing authority on the Customs Declaration Service (one signature). - YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mfho9Fv2Mqk
How to use the secure file upload service on the Customs Declaration Service - YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dllw5OVkkiE
Any consignment booked through ourselves from the 15th February 2021 will be subject to a £20 Brexit Surcharge.
As the UK has now left the EU on the 1st January 2021, commercial invoices are now required to all destinations for imports and exports to and from the United Kingdom and we will require a copy of this in the first instance in order to proceed with a shipment.
The commercial invoice will need to show the following information:
- Commercial invoice number
- Exporter/seller address & VAT number
- Consignee/buyer address & VAT number plus contact information
- HS Code
- Item description
- Country of Origin
- Currency and value of goods
- Net and gross weight of goods
- As you are aware, anyone importing and exporting outside of the UK will require a valid EORI number to proceed.
You can also find more information on what is required on the HMRC website: