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UK HMRC warns 160,000 business on Brexit import declarations

The UK’s HMRC has this week written to over 160,000 businesses that imported goods into the UK from the EU under the Brexit deferred import customs declaration scheme. These businesses will need to make supplementary declarations, appoint a customs intermediary to help them with this process and consider export heath certificates.

Customs supplementary declarations for imports from EU

Following the end of the UK’s Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, UK importers of goods could opt to defer full customs declarations for six months after import initially until 1 July 2021. This declarations period was extended further to 1 January 2022.

The importer just had to make a declaration in their own records. They could then delay the full supplementary declaration for six month. The information for their own records included the following information:

  • the customs procedure code
  • a unique consignment reference – this could be invoice number, stock record number or job number
  • purchase number (and if available, the sales invoice numbers)
  • the date and time of entry in records – creating the tax point, which is used for working out VAT payments later
  • a written description of the goods – so they are easy to identify
  • the commodity code based on the description of the goods
  • customs value
  • quantity of goods – for example, number of packages and items, net mass

Customs import changes from 1 January 2022

For goods imported from 1 January 2022, the importer cannot:

  • make a declaration in your records without authorisation
  • delay the supplementary declarations

The importer or customer intermediary doing the declarations will need to either:

  • have authorisation to make simplified declarations
  • make full import declarations

Importers can choose whether to account for VAT on your VAT Return or pay when you make their declaration.


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