Importing excise goods to the UK from the EU

From 1 January 2021, there will be changes to how you import and declare excise goods (alcohol, tobacco and certain oils).

This guidance was withdrawn on

From 1 January 2021, imports of excise goods from the EU to Great Britain will be treated the same as imports from the rest of the world. This includes moving imported excise goods within Great Britain.

There may be different rules in respect of Northern Ireland movements after transition.

Importing excise goods

If your excise goods are dispatched from an EU member state from 1 January 2021, you must complete a customs declaration and use the relevant customs procedures when they arrive at the place they enter into Great Britain.

You can use Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) to import some excise goods such as alcohol and tobacco. All other excise goods are excluded from using CFSP.

This means you’ll be able to transport your goods into Great Britain without having to make a full customs declaration in advance.

To use a simplified declaration for imports you’ll need:

From 1 January 2021, you’ll not be able to use the following to import excise duty paid goods into Great Britain:

  • a Simplified Accompanying Administrative Document (SAAD)
  • EU distance-selling arrangements

You’ll need to complete a customs declaration and use the relevant customs procedures when they arrive at the place they enter Great Britain.

Moving imported excise duty suspended goods within Great Britain

You must use the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) to move excise duty suspended goods from the place they enter into Great Britain to their final destination.

You’ll need to appoint a registered consignor to move the goods, or become a registered consignor.

The registered consignor must complete and submit an electronic administrative document (eAD) through EMCS before the movement takes place. This will generate a unique Administrative Reference Code (ARC) for that specific movement. The code must travel with the goods at all times.

You’ll need to supply the person accompanying the goods (for example, the driver of the vehicle transporting the goods) with a printed version of the eAD or any other commercial document which clearly states the ARC.

Once the goods are received and checked into the excise warehouse, the warehousekeeper receiving them (the consignee) will:

  • confirm that the goods have arrived
  • complete and submit a ‘report of receipt’

Become a registered consignor

If you want to become a registered consignor, you’ll need to:

It can take up to 45 days to register, so you should appoint someone who is already a registered consignor to move your goods whilst your application is being approved.

Published 9 October 2019