Guidance

Importing controlled goods using transitional simplified procedures

Find out about importing controlled goods from the EU into the UK using transitional simplified procedures.

Stay up to date

The UK will leave the EU on 31 October. This page tells you how to prepare for Brexit. It will be updated if anything changes, including if a deal is agreed.

Sign up for email alerts to get the latest information.

Controlled goods procedure

Controlled goods are some goods that must have a license to import, or excise goods like alcohol or tobacco, which have additional duties on them.

If you’re importing controlled goods from the EU using transitional simplified procedures, you’ll need to use the controlled goods procedure.

To make a simplified declaration for controlled goods using transitional simplified procedures, you’ll need a customs agent or intermediary to help you or to buy software to do this yourself.

You or agent will need to:

  • submit a simplified frontier declaration before the goods are imported into the UK
  • make sure that the controlled goods are accompanied by full supporting documentation, for example the appropriate licence
  • update the declaration to ’arrived’ on arrival into the UK (through your agent or your software), before the end of the following working day after the goods have arrived in the UK

If you’re importing standard goods as well as controlled goods, you can use the same (controlled goods) procedure for both.

You should check our list of transitional simplified procedures controlled goods regularly, as this may change.

After you’ve imported the goods

A supplementary declaration will need to be made by the fourth working day of the month following the arrival of the goods into the UK, and the simplified frontier declaration is accepted.

If you have duties or taxes to pay, HMRC will take your direct debit:

  • for customs duties and any import VAT, on the 15th day of the month that you make your supplementary declaration in
  • for excise duties, on the 29th of the month that you make your supplementary declaration in

If your business is not registered for VAT, we’ll introduce a new method for paying import VAT. We’ll give more details shortly.

If you’re a VAT-registered trader you must use VAT postponed accounting, which means you’ll include import VAT for goods you import through these simplified procedures in your VAT Return.

Supplementary declarations

If a customs agent is submitting supplementary declarations on your behalf, you’ll need:

If your submitting your own supplementary declarations for transitional simplified procedures, you’ll need:

Check what the tariffs will be to see whether you’ll need to pay customs duties on your goods.

Your software provider will explain what you need to do to complete a supplementary declaration.

You will also need to use the UK trade tariff to help you complete declarations.

When to submit supplementary declarations

You must submit your supplementary declaration and make sure it’s accepted by the due date.

For the controlled goods procedure, this will normally be the fourth working day of the month after the goods enter the UK, and the simplified frontier declaration is accepted.

Find out how to submit your declarations when importing goods from the EU using transitional simplified procedures.

Published 1 January 2019