Guidance

Making a delayed supplementary import declaration using the Customs Declaration Service

Find out how and when to make a delayed supplementary declaration if you’re using simplified declarations to bring goods into Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland).

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

Only use this guidance to make supplementary import declarations using the Customs Declaration Service. Find out how to make supplementary import declarations using the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service.

You must submit your supplementary declaration no later than 175 days after you’ve imported the goods into Great Britain.

Making a supplementary import declaration can be complicated. Find out how to get someone to deal with customs for you.

If your business is not established in the UK, you must get someone established in the UK to:

When you can make a delayed supplementary declaration

You can only make a delayed supplementary import declaration using the Customs Declaration Service if your goods are not controlled, are moving from EU free circulation and HMRC has not told you that you cannot make an import declaration in your records without authorisation, and either:

  • you brought goods from EU free circulation into free circulation in Great Britain, between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021
  • you bring goods from free circulation in Ireland (including goods that started their movement in Northern Ireland) into free circulation in Great Britain, from 1 January 2022
  • you bring goods that need to be declared from Northern Ireland (including goods that started their movement in Ireland) into free circulation in Great Britain, from 1 January 2022

How to complete the declaration

Find more detailed instructions about completing a supplementary import declaration in the import declaration completion guide and the customs declaration completion requirements for Great Britain.

If you have any problems when making your declaration and you have checked that you entered the details correctly, contact HMRC for help.

Data Element 1/1 – Declaration type

Enter ‘IM’.

Data Element 1/2 – Additional declaration type

You (or someone dealing with customs for you) must be authorised for either entry in the declarant’s records or the simplified declaration procedure before you can submit a delayed supplementary declaration.

Enter the code for the authorisation you hold:

  • code ‘Y’ for a simplified declaration procedure
  • code ‘Z’ for entry in a declarant’s record

You will only be able to use the code you are authorised to use. You will find this information in your authorisation letter sent to you by HMRC.

If you are not authorised you must get this authorisation from HMRC (or get someone to deal with customs for you) before submitting your delayed supplementary declaration.

Data Element 1/6 – Goods item number

This identifies the specific item you’re currently filling out the information for. For example, item number 5 of 12 items.

Data Element 1/8 – Signature or authentication

Leave blank. Your system ID will replace the requirement for a signature.

Data Element 1/9 – Total number of items

You’ll need to enter the total number of goods items you’re declaring on this declaration.

You will find this information in your commercial records.

Data Element 1/10 – Procedure

You are only allowed to use delayed declarations to release goods into free circulation. The procedure code identifies the customs regime which goods are being entered into and if they were previously in a different procedure.

The procedure is a 4-digit code:

  • the first 2 digits say which procedure you’ve released the goods into (for example, free circulation)
  • the third and fourth digits is the procedure the goods were in previously (for example, if the goods were in a customs warehouse)

If you are importing goods into free circulation under delayed declarations, the first 2 digits will be either ‘40’ or ‘61’.

Find the procedure code you need to use.

Data Element 1/11 – Additional procedure

This is a 3-digit code which relates to a specific set of circumstances which applies to your goods. For example, for samples you would use one code to claim the duty relief and another code to claim the VAT relief.

You will need to look up your 4-digit procedure code on the correlation matrix to see which 3-digit codes are allowed to be used with it.

If you do not choose a permitted code, the system will reject it.

You should look up each of the permitted 3-digit codes in the index list to see which codes apply to you or your goods. Depending on the circumstances that apply, more than one Additional Procedure Code may be required so you will need to check every permitted code to ensure you identify all the necessary codes for your goods.

Data Element 2/1 – Simplified declarations or previous documents

On delayed declarations you must enter YDCR, then the Declaration Unique Consignment Reference quoted in the entry in declarant’s records. You must then enter YCLE, then the date the goods were entered to entry in declarant’s records.

Other entries may be required on the declaration depending on the procedure code declared in DE 1/10. Check the procedure code notes in Appendix 1 for more information.

Data Element 2/2 – Additional information

The codes provided in this Data Element are used to provide any extra information that is needed to process the customs declaration.

The information is declared using a specific code, then the required additional information.

The codes used help customs identify what information is being provided and why.

The types of additional information needed in this Data Element may include:

  • relationships between different parties (people) involved in the declaration
  • restrictions that may apply to the goods
  • specific processes intended to be carried out on the goods whilst under customs control
  • names and addresses of other parties or premises involved

For example, the code ‘00500’ indicates where a trader is submitting a declaration themselves.

Find the procedure code you need to use.

Data Element 2/3 – Documents produced, certificates and authorisations, and additional references

A document code, with a reference number or other details to be declared is used to provide:

  • authorisation decision numbers such as simplified declaration procedure, entry in declarant’s records, Deferment, customs comprehensive guarantee
  • licence reference numbers and quantities where required
  • preference certificates and quantities where required
  • veterinary or health certificates and quantities where required
  • invoices
  • other commercial documents, such as packing lists

When using delayed declarations, the declarant must enter their simplified customs declaration procedure authorisation into this Data Element using document code ‘C514’.

If there is Customs Duty to pay, enter document codes ‘C505’ and ‘C506’.

You must also declare any document codes needed by measures against the commodity code of the goods. For example, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) goods. This will be shown in the UK Global Online Tariff.

If you are claiming preference, you will need to enter a document code to support your claim. Use Customs Declaration Completion Requirements for Great Britain for more information.

If you have specified that you are using valuation method 1 (in Data Element 4/16), you must include the invoice reference against the relevant document code.

Data Element 2/4 – Reference number or Unique Consignment Reference

You may choose to use a commercial reference number for your own purposes in this field or leave this blank.

Data Element 2/5 – Local Reference Number

Enter a unique reference number which identifies the submission to the Customs Declaration Service. For example, if you submit a declaration and change it in future, those changes should have different reference numbers so different versions can be easily identified.

Data Element 2/6 – Deferred payment

You must settle any Customs Duty and import VAT (if you are not VAT registered) using your (or your customs agent’s) Duty Deferment Account number. Enter the relevant deferment approval number in this Data Element.

If you are authorised for simplified customs procedures, as part of your authorisation, you will have a Duty Deferment Account.

Data Element 2/7 – Identification of warehouse

If your goods were stored in a customs warehouse before they were in free circulation, you should enter the warehouse number where your goods were stored.

Your public warehouse keeper should have this information or if it a private warehouse, you should have received an authorisation with this code.

Data Element 3/1 – Exporter

Enter the details of the persons who sold you the goods outside Great Britain. You’ll need to provide their name and address.

You will find this information in your commercial records.

Data Element 3/2 – Exporter ID number

An EORI number is not mandatory for this Data Element, providing the name and address has been provided in Data Element 3/1.

Data Element 3/15 – Importer

Leave this blank if you have provided an EORI number in 3/16.

Data Element 3/16 – Import ID number

Enter the EORI number for the person (if they have one) who imported the goods.

You will find this information in your commercial records.

Data Element 3/17 – Declarant

Leave this field blank.

Data Element 3/18 – Declarant ID number

This Data Element is about the EORI number of the person making the declaration, which will be either you or your customs agent.

Data Element 3/19 – Representative

Leave this field blank.

Data Element 3/20 – Representative ID number

This Data Element only needs to be completed where the representative differs from the declarant declared in 3/18.

Where it is different, enter their EORI number.

Data Element 3/21 – Representative status code

Where an agent is acting on your behalf directly, enter ‘2’. Where an agent is acting indirectly, use ‘3’. If the importer is submitting the declaration themselves, leave this blank and enter additional information code ‘00500’ in Data Element 2/2.

Data Element 3/24 – Seller

Only complete this Data Element if the seller is different from the exporter and the seller does not have an EORI. Leave it blank if the seller is not different from the exporter and has an EORI.

Data Element 3/25 – Seller ID number

Only complete this Data Element if the seller is different from the exporter and the seller has an EORI. Leave it blank if the seller is not different from the exporter and does not have an EORI.

Data Element 3/26 – Buyer

Only complete this Data Element if the buyer is different from the importer and the buyer does not have an EORI. Leave it blank if the buyer is not different from the importer and has an EORI.

Data Element 3/27 – Buyer ID no

Only complete this Data Element if the buyer is different from the importer and the buyer has an EORI. Leave it blank if the buyer is not different from the importer and does not have an EORI.

Data Element 3(37) – Additional supply chain actors ID number

Leave this field blank.

Data Element 3(39) – Holder of the authorisation ID number

Enter code ‘EIR’, then the EORI number of the party authorised for delayed declarations.

If you have Customs Duty to pay you must enter codes ‘DPO’ and ‘CGU’, then the EORI number of the party whose Duty Deferment Account is being used (either the trader or the customs agent).

If any other authorisations had been entered into Data Element 2/3, a matching entry must be made here. For example, a customs warehouse authorisation.

Data Element 3(40) – Additional fiscal references ID number

Enter your VAT number if you’re VAT registered in this field. If you are not VAT registered, leave this field blank.

If you are VAT registered, you must account for VAT in the period you imported goods into the UK. For example, if you imported goods in February, you should account for your VAT for those imports in the relevant VAT return for February.

Data Element 4/1 – Delivery terms

This field is for you to tell us what the contract terms are for the delivery of your goods. For example: if the sale price includes the cost of the goods as well as insurance and freight costs (CIF) to deliver your goods Tilbury (GB Til), the code you would enter in this field is CIFGBTIL.

Find out how to complete Data Element 4/ 1.

Data Element 4/3 – Calculation of taxes – tax type

If you have revenue to pay or secure, then you must enter the relevant tax code for each type of tax which applies for your goods. For example:

  • import VAT (if you are not VAT registered)
  • Customs Duty
  • excise

Check the tax type codes in Appendix 8 of the Tariff.

Data Element 4/4 – Calculation of taxes - tax base

Enter the basis on which the tax is being calculated. In a manual calculation, it’s the value of the goods. In other instances, it’s the measurement unit which identifies the calculation. For example, if the commodity requires a quantity in litres, enter the measurement unit code ‘LTR’, then the quantity of the goods.

Data Element 4/6 – Calculation of taxes – payable tax amount

You will only need to complete this Data Element for manual calculations. Do not complete this data element unless a manual calculation is used. This Data Element is where you specify the amount of tax you’ll pay for your goods. You must do this for each tax type if you have multiple types of taxes due. For example:

  • customs duty
  • excise duty
  • import VAT (if you are not VAT registered)

Data Element 4/7 – Calculation of taxes total

This field relates to aggregate total of Data Element 4/6. For example, the aggregate total of the following:

  • customs duty
  • excise duty
  • import VAT (if you are not VAT registered)

Do not complete this Data Element unless a manual calculation is used.

Data Element 4/8 – Calculation of taxes – Method of Payment (MOP)

This Data Element is for you to declare how the tax liabilities will be settled.

Under delayed declarations you must settle any Customs Duty and import VAT (if you are not VAT registered) using your Duty Deferment Account. Enter code ‘E’ (using deferment account).

If you are a VAT registered trader, you should have accounted for import VAT on your VAT Return using postponed VAT accounting and leave the VAT tax line blank.

Data Element 4/9 – Additions and deductions

Enter any additions or deductions to the amount entered into 4/14 for duty calculation purposes. For example:

  • freight
  • insurance costs

Find the list of additions or deductions codes.

Data Element 4/11 – Total amount invoiced

Leave this field blank.

Data Element 4/13 – Valuation indicators

Only complete this Data Element where valuation method one is used – enter code ‘0000’.

If any other code is required, you cannot use method one. Leave blank if this is the case.

Data Element 4/14 – Item price amount

This Data Element is for item level data. Enter the value of the specific goods item declared. For example:

  • Item 1 - t-shirts (£100)
  • Item 2 - shoes (£100)

Data Element 4/15 – Exchange rate

Only complete this Data Element if you have a fixed rate of exchange with your seller. For example, if you’re buying goods with a fixed conversion rate over a fixed period, you would specify this here. Leave it blank if you do not have a fixed exchange rate with your seller.

Data Element 4/16 – Valuation method

The means by which your goods are valued. There are 6 valuation methods, for example for sale price you would use method 1.

Data Element 4/17 – Preference

Completion of this box is mandatory. If you are not claiming preference, use a code beginning with ‘1’.

You may be entitled to pay a reduced about of duty if your goods if they’re covered by the free trade agreement with the EU

If your goods are covered by the UK-EU free trade deal and you’re claiming the ‘tariff preference’, enter a code beginning with ‘3’ to show the preferential origin status of your goods.

Find out more about preference codes for Data Element 4/17 of the Customs Declaration Service.

Data Element 5/8 – Country of destination code

This Data Element is for you to enter the country of destination of your goods. Enter ‘GB’ for Great Britain or ‘IM’ for Isle of Man.

Data Element 5/14 – Country of dispatch or export code

This is a 2-digit code and is the country where the goods were exported from.

Find out more about country codes for the Customs Declaration Service.

Data Element 5/15 – Country of origin code

This Data Element must be completed if any of the following apply:

  • you entered ‘1 ’ in Data Element 4/17
  • your goods are subject to an electronic licence, or
  • you entered a group code in Data Element 5/16

The country of origin code is about where the:

  • goods were manufactured
  • last significant processing took place

Data Element 5/16 – Country of preferential origin code

Where the code in Data Element 4/17 begins with 3 you must complete this field. See the preference rules for your product to see whether you qualify.

Check ‘Table 5’ on country codes for the Customs Declarations Service to find out about preference group codes that are specific to data element 5/16:

Data Element 5/21 – Place of loading

Use this data element if you’ve declared an air freight adjustment in Data Element 4/9. This relates to the airport the goods left from. Enter the 3-digit code relevant to the airport.

Data Element 5/23 – Location of goods

Enter the code where the goods were located at the point of release to the procedure. For example, the port of airport the goods came into Great Britain.

Data Element 5/26 – Customs office of presentation

Leave this field blank.

Data Element 5/27 – Supervising customs office

You must check your procedure code guidance in Appendix 1 to see if a Supervising customs office is required. The procedure code notes will inform you of what you must do.

Data Element 6/1 – Net mass (kg)

The weight of the goods (in kg), excluding external packaging, rounded to 6 decimal places where needed.

Data Element 6/2 – Supplementary units

The Customs Duty section on the commodity code will tell you if you need to complete this data element or not.

If you do, enter which unit applies to the goods. For example, either:

  • litres
  • number of individual pieces

Data Element 6/5 – Gross mass (kg)

The weight of the goods (in kg), including external packaging, rounded to 6 decimal places where needed.

Data Element 6/8 – Description of goods

Enter a plain language description of the goods that is enough to allow for easy identification of what the goods are. You cannot use general trade terms (for example ‘parts’) or the description of the goods as they appear in the trade tariff tool.

For example, ‘magnesium potassium sulphate’. Do not use generic terms such as ‘minerals or chemical goods’.

Data Element 6/9 – Type of packages

Enter the code for how your goods were packaged. For example, were they in:

  • boxes
  • bags

Data Element 6/10 – Number of packages

How many packages (not items) there are . For example, for 5 boxes which contain 100 t-shirts you would enter 5 packages .

Data Element 6/11 – Shipping marks

Enter the mark that appeared on the packages. For example, if the package had a reference number on the outside, specify the reference number. If you’ve declared more than one package, you should specify the same number of shipping marks.

Data Element 6/13 – CUS code

The provision of the CUS code is optional where no Tariff measure exists for the goods concerned.

This Data Element only needs to be completed where you import certain chemical substances. Chemicals classified in chapters 28 and 29 of the UK Trade Tariff should be described using their precise chemical name and the appropriate 8-digit CUS code. If you are not importing chemical substances, leave this Data Element blank.

The CUS number is the identification number assigned to chemical products in the European Customs Inventory of Chemical Substances (ECICS) database. Where the chemical is not listed, the precise name in accordance with British Standard 2474/1983 and the words ‘not listed’ must be declared in DE 6/8 Description of Goods.

Find out more in Group 6: Goods Identification of the CDS UK Trade Tariff Volume 3: Import Declaration Completion Guide.

Data Element 6/14 – Commodity code – combined nomenclature code

Enter the first 8 digits of the commodity code for the goods described in Data Element 6/8 as set out in the UK Trade Tariff. This code tells customs what the goods are. Choose the code number in line with the directions of the UK Trade Tariff Volume 2 .

Data Element 6/15 – Commodity code – TARIC code

Enter the 9th and 10th digit of the commodity code. This will tell customs if any duty is owed.

You will get this from the trade tariff tool.

Data Element 6/16 – Commodity code – TARIC additional codes

Enter the 11th to 14th digits of the commodity code. You will need to look up the applicable TARIC additional code. There are two ways of identifying codes. Where no TARIC additional code applies this box may be left blank.

Meursing codes

These are TARIC additional codes that specify if additional restrictions or measures apply to the goods, such as milk products (meursing codes) or prohibitions or restrictions on import.

Meursing codes are needed for the import or export of goods containing certain types of milk and sugars covered Regulation (EC) No. 118/2010.

You can look up meursing codes using the online tool.

Other TARIC additional codes

Other TARIC additional codes are needed where a prohibition or restriction, Anti-dumping measure or specific Tariff Preference measure applies to the goods. Tariff Preference does not always need an additional code to be declared in Box 33(3).

These TARIC additional codes are shown as Tariff measures in the UK Trade Tariff.

They can also be found using the UK Global Online Tariff.

Data Element 6/17 – Commodity code – national additional codes

Enter the 15th or 18th digits of the commodity code. This is used to specify the rate of national taxes. For example:

  • zero-rated VAT
  • rate of excise duty

If the commodity code for your goods is entirely zero-rated for import VAT, you must still enter the code ‘VATZ’ to get the zero-rating.

You will get this from the trade tariff tool. Appendix 19 of the Customs Declarations Service Tariff provides an index list for these codes.

Data Element 6/18 – Total packages

Enter the total number of packages across all items.

Data Element 7/2 – Container

Enter:

  • ‘0’ if the goods were not in a container
  • ‘1’ if the goods were in a container

Data Element 7/4 – Mode of transport at the border

Enter the mode of transport used at the border to import your goods. Enter code ‘6’ where a Roll-On Roll-Off (RoRo) vehicle is used at a RoRo listed location.

Find out more about Transport Information (Modes, Means and Equipment).

Data Element 7/5 – Inland mode of transport

Leave this field blank if customs formalities for your goods were completed at the border – for example, EU goods coming into Great Britain through a RoRo listed location. If your goods were stored in a customs warehouse before entering free circulation or import formalities (clearance into free circulation) are carried out away from the border, you’ll need to complete this Data Element.

Using the relevant code from Data Element 7/4, enter the relevant inland mode of transport where required.

Data Element 7/9 – Identity of means of transport on arrival

Enter the registration number or name of the means of transport. For example:

  • ship’s name
  • van registration number

Data Element 7/10 – Container identification number

If you put code 1 in Data Element 7/2, you must specify the containers reference number. This will show on your shipping documents.

Data Element 7/15 – Nationality of active means of transport crossing the border

This is the nationality of where your means of transport is registered.

Data Element 8/1 – Quota order number

Only complete this box is you’re claiming a quota. If you’ve claimed a reduced or nil rate of duty against the Tariff, enter the relevant serial number for the goods listed in the trade tariff tool.

Data Element 8/2 – Guarantee type

If you are using your Duty Deferment Account to settle any Customs Duty owing, you must complete this Data Element. If you need to evidence a guarantee on the declaration, enter code ‘1’.

If you do not need a guarantee because you are using your Duty Deferment Account for less than £10,000 per month, enter code ‘0’.

Data Element 8/3 – Guarantee reference number

If you entered code ‘1’ in Data Element 8/3 and do require a guarantee, enter the reference number of the guarantee. This will be provided to you by your bank or other institution that provided you with the guarantee.

If you entered code ‘0’ in Data Element 8/2 and do not need a guarantee, enter ‘guaranteenotrequired’ if you do not require a guarantee.

Data Element 8/5 – Nature of transaction

This code identifies the type of transaction being made. For example, 1 where there is a sales contact.

Data Element 8/6 – Statistical value

Leave this field blank.

After you submit

  1. You will get a customs response message in your software to tell you how much import VAT and Customs Duty you owe.

  2. We’ll take payment from your deferment account on day 15 of the month you submit your supplementary declaration.

Published 1 July 2021
Last updated 23 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. You can delay declarations if you brought goods from EU free circulation into free circulation in Great Britain, between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021, or if you bring goods from free circulation in Ireland (including goods that started their movement in Northern Ireland) into free circulation in Great Britain, from 1 January 2022, or if you bring goods that need to be declared from Northern Ireland (including goods that started their movement in Ireland) into free circulation in Great Britain, from 1 January 2022.

  2. First published.