Changes to customs procedures

April 1, 2020

With the free flow of goods essential at this time, HMRC has introduced some easements to how goods are declared and changes to Customs authorisations.

UKWA Special Advisor Barbara Scott of Customs Associates has shared the following key points for UKWA members.

  1. Due to anticipated delays of goods in transit through the EU, journey times under NCTS have been extended to up to 14 days.
  2. If you operate Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) and are unable to accurately complete your supplementary declaration by the due date as a result of the effects of COVID-19 on your business, you may submit an estimated figure. You must still submit a reasonable estimate of the amount due on time, then submit an accurate declaration as soon as possible (no time limit proposed at present). However, members should note that this easement does not apply if you are declaring goods subject to Excise Duty.
  3. If you operate a Customs Warehouse, a Temporary Storage Facility, or any other approved Customs system, and cannot comply with a condition of your authorisation because of Covid-19, you should be able to get permission to temporarily vary the approval. This could be to:
  • Change site opening hours
  • Require staff to carry out work remotely rather than on site
  • Amend areas within an approved location to keep staff working at safe distances
  • Reduce dwelling times to enable goods to progress more quickly
  • Increase throughput periods for duty relief procedures
  • Increase time limits for sending in returns (bills of discharge) for duty relief procedures
  • Deal with goods which need to be held in temporary storage for more than 90 days

4. You must contact the Supervising Office for your authorisation.If you have an authorisation that is due to expire, it will be automatically extended.

5. HMRC will still accept requests for new authorisations but those for bringing in supplies of  food, medical apparatus and pharmaceuticals will be prioritised and fast tracked.

6. HMRC will not be carrying out any authorisation visits or post clearance audit visits during the  COVID-19 outbreak.

For further advice, members should contact UKWA or Barbara Scott at Customs Associates Ltd.