Guidance

Apply to import multiple low value parcels on one declaration

You can use the bulk import reduced data set to declare two or more low value parcels in a single import declaration when you import goods to Great Britain.

This customs simplification allows you to declare two or more low value parcel into a single import declaration. It also requires a reduced data set compared to a standard full import declaration.

Who can use the bulk import reduced data set

If you have free circulation procedure goods contained within two or more postal packet, you may be able to use this process where:

  • each postal packet is sent from a country or territory outside the UK to a recipient in Great Britain
  • at the time of import, each postal packet contains goods with a relief from import duty available to the recipient of the goods
  • the postal packets are imported in such manner as may be specified in a notice published by HMRC
  • the total value of each postal packet imported is £135 or less
  • the VAT for each postal packet is subject to UK supply VAT, rather than import VAT

What a postal packet is

A postal packet is where goods are contained in:

  • a letter
  • a parcel
  • a packet
  • another article transmissible by post

If you’re already using low value bulking of imports

If you are already using or have used low value bulking of imports, you still may need to apply for authorisation for the bulk import reduced data set.

HMRC will check your records and tell you after 1 October 2020 if you need to apply for authorisation.

When you cannot use the bulk import reduced data set

You cannot use this customs simplification when your goods are:

If you have any criminal record, this may affect your application.

Before you apply

To become authorised to make these bulk declarations, you will need to:

  • be established in the UK
  • have a good customs compliance record, including VAT Returns and duty deferments
  • show how you’ll identify and report any errors found after you’ve submitted your final bulked declaration, where applicable
  • carry out declaration procedures to a professional standard
  • have procedures in place to make sure you do not import prohibited goods
  • have licences for any restricted goods
  • have procedures in place to manage customs declarations

You may also need to apply for import licences and certificates for some goods you import.

Using customs procedure codes

The main Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) customs procedure code to use for bulk import reduced data set is 40 00 003.

CHIEF customs procedure codes beginning with 49 only apply to goods imported from Jersey and Guernsey.

This table shows when to use 40 00 003 and other codes that can be used where appropriate.

Customs procedure code Bulk import restricted data authorised Goods’ intrinsic value Customs declaration Commodity code required VAT
40 00 003 1 Up to and including £135.00 Bulked No Supply VAT      
40 00 004 N/A Up to and including £135.00 Single Yes Import VAT      
40 00 C07 N/A Up to and including £135.00 Single No Supply VAT      
49 00 003 1 Up to and including £135.00 Bulked No Supply VAT      
49 00 004 N/A Up to and including £135.00 Single Yes Import VAT      

These custom procedure codes cannot be used for goods that are subject to:

  • Customs Duty
  • excise duty
  • restriction or prohibition

You cannot use postponed VAT accounting when goods are subject to supply VAT or require consumer to consumer movement.

How to apply

You can download and complete the bulk import reduced data set application form (PDF, 441KB, 7 pages).

Send your completed applications by email to: birdsauthorisationsbulking@hmrc.gov.uk.

After you’ve applied

HMRC will send a letter telling you if your application has been successful. It will also set out the conditions of the authorisation, such as how you:

  • make declarations
  • keep records
  • tell HMRC about any issues or errors

You also will get an authorisation number that you can use on your declarations in the CHIEF system.

Once you are authorised, you must:

  • maintain complete and accurate records for 4 years for import and export purposes
  • maintain complete and accurate records for 6 years for VAT purposes
  • follow the conditions set out in the authorisation letter
  • inform HMRC about any changes to your information in your application

If you fail to meet the conditions and obligations you could lose your bulking authorisation.

Published 10 September 2020
Last updated 23 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. We have added the CHIEF customs procedure codes to use for bulk import reduced data set.

  2. The application form and email address to send completed applications have been updated.

  3. An email address to send completed applications has been added.

  4. HMRC will update this guidance to tell you where to send your application.

  5. First published.