Guidance

Apply for a customs comprehensive guarantee to cover customs debts

Use a customs comprehensive guarantee to cover Customs Duty, excise duty and import VAT when you regularly import goods or use common and Union transit.

You’ll need to:

  1. Check what type of guarantee you need if you’re not sure.

  2. Check who can apply for a customs comprehensive guarantee.

  3. Estimate the amount of debt your guarantee needs to cover.

  4. Check if you can reduce the amount your guarantor needs to provide.

  5. Apply for authorisation to use a guarantee.

  6. Get a guarantor to cover your debt.

Who can apply

To get this type of guarantee you need to:

  • be established in the UK
  • have no serious or repeated infringements of customs or tax rules in the past 3 years
  • have no record of serious criminal offences related to your business activities in the past 3 years

To submit your application for authorisation to use a customs comprehensive guarantee you must be a company official of the business. Depending on your type of business you’ll need to be a:

  • company official such as company director or company secretary
  • sole proprietor
  • trustee
  • partner

How to estimate the amount of guarantee

You will also need to provide an estimate of the amount of debt to be covered by the guarantee. This will be your guarantee limit.

If you go over this you’ll need to increase your guarantee. If you do not your goods could be stopped at the border.

Duty deferment

For duty deferment, work out how much Customs Duty, excise duty and import VAT will be chargeable. You’ll need to give the maximum monthly amount. This is known as ‘actual debt’.

Transit

When using common and Union transit, work out the maximum amount your guarantee will need to cover. This debt is not chargeable if all transit movements are discharged correctly and is known as ‘potential debt’.

Customs special procedures or temporary storage

When goods are under temporary storage or special procedures (like inward processing, temporary admission, or customs warehousing), work out the maximum amount that your guarantee will need to cover for Customs Duty and excise duty.

These debts are not chargeable straight away and are known as ‘potential debt’.

Reduce the amount your guarantor needs to provide

You can apply to reduce the amount your guarantor needs to provide to 50% or 30% of the potential debt covered by your customs comprehensive guarantee.

You can also apply for a full waiver reducing the amount your guarantor needs to provide for your potential debt to 0%.

You can do this by uploading a completed CCG1F (PDF, 551KB, 8 pages) and supporting documents with your online guarantee application.

For at least the last 3 years (where possible), you’ll need to provide:

  • financial statements
  • forecasts
  • management accounts
  • loan agreements
  • auditors’ reports

The size of the CCG1F and supporting documents you upload cannot be more than 41 megabytes (MB) in total. You cannot upload ZIP files.

If you’re an Authorised Economic Operator for customs (AEOC or AEOF) and want to apply for a full waiver reducing the amount your guarantor needs to provide for your potential debt to 0%, you must include your AEO details on your application for authorisation. You do not need to complete form CCG1F.

You can only get a duty deferment reduction if you’re an Authorised Economic Operator for customs (AEOC or AEOF).

If you’re an Authorised Economic Operator for customs

If you have AEOC or AEOF status, the level of guarantee your guarantor needs to provide for Customs Duty covered by your duty deferment account is reduced to 30% of the duty amount.

If you want to apply for a full waiver reducing the amount your guarantor needs to provide for your potential debt to 0% you must include your AEO details on your authorisation application.

You do not need to complete form CCG1F.

Deferring import VAT or excise duty

Other schemes are available that can reduce the amount of guarantee you need to provide, if you’re deferring import VAT or excise duty.

Apply for authorisation

What you’ll need

To complete your application you’ll need your business’s:

  • EORI number
  • name associated with your EORI number
  • company registration number (if this applies)
  • UK address associated with your EORI number
  • correspondence address
  • VAT number (if this applies)
  • Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certificate number (if this applies)
  • duty deferment account number (if this applies)
  • company directors’ and officials’ details, including date of birth
  • person responsible for customs authorisations, their details and practical customs experience
  • your estimated debt

You may also need:

  • records of any times when your business has not followed customs or tax rules in the last 3 years
  • details of checks and measures in place to make sure your business complies with customs and tax rules
  • financial records if you want to apply for a reduction in level of guarantee you need to provide

Submit your application

You must be authorised to use a customs comprehensive guarantee.

You’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have one, you can create one.

Apply for customs comprehensive guarantee authorisation.

When completing the form, you must select the part of the UK where you will use the guarantee.

To use a guarantee in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you should submit separate applications.

If you need a guarantee to declare goods to common or Union transit in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you can apply for a single customs comprehensive guarantee authorisation if all the transit declarations will be made using the EORI linked to your customs comprehensive guarantee. Select:

  • Great Britain if you will use a GB EORI
  • Northern Ireland you will use an XI EORI

If you’re applying for a reduction in the level of guarantee your guarantor needs to provide and you do not have AEOC or AEOF status, the service will ask you to upload a completed CCG1F and supporting documents.

The CCG1F and supporting documents you upload must not exceed 41MB in total. You cannot upload ZIP files.

After you apply

HMRC will carry out assurance checks. We’ll let you know if you can get any reductions and tell you the amount of the guarantee you’ll need. You’ll need to get a guarantor to cover this amount.

If you do not get authorisation

If you do not meet the conditions when you apply for a customs comprehensive guarantee you can use an individual guarantee to cover the customs debt.

If you stop meeting the conditions for reducing your guarantee

If your circumstances change and you do not meet the conditions for a reduced guarantee, you must change your guarantee amount so it’s no longer reduced.

If this happens, you must:

  • tell HMRC if you need to change your guarantee amount
  • calculate the estimated Customs Duty and import VAT from your imports and check your guarantee always covers them

You can also use an individual guarantee for one-off or high value imports to avoid going over your customs comprehensive guarantee.

HMRC will regularly check the use of guarantees and will tell you if your guarantee amount is incorrect.

Published 1 March 2019
Last updated 21 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. A new guide 'Check the amount of guarantee needed for Union and Common Transit' has been linked to the 'How to estimate the amount of guarantee' section.

  2. You can now use an online service to apply to use a customs comprehensive guarantee. More information about this has been added.

  3. First published.