Making a simplified frontier declaration

How to use the simplified declaration procedure when importing goods into the UK.

Before you make a simplified frontier declaration, you should check if you need to declare the goods you bring into the UK.

You must be authorised to use simplified procedures.

You can import your goods on a simplified frontier declaration unless your goods are imported under:

  • Admission Temporaire or Temporary Admission (ATA) procedures
  • authorisation by declaration

Check the guidance on ineligible procedures to find out if you can use the simplified frontier declaration procedure to declare your goods.

When to submit

Locations where you need to submit a declaration before the goods board

You’ll need to make a simplified frontier declaration before the goods board:

If you’re using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service, your declaration will usually be marked as ‘arrived’ automatically on the system when your goods are imported. If the status has not been automatically updated you’ll need to manually arrive your goods in the UK.

If you are moving goods that require an import declaration from Northern Ireland to Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), you must update the status of your simplified frontier declaration to ‘arrived’ on the system by 11:59pm, on the working day after the day your goods arrived in Great Britain.

When to submit a declaration at other locations

If a temporary storage declaration has been made for the goods, the simplified frontier declaration must be made within 90 days of your goods being presented to customs.

If your goods are arriving at a location without temporary storage facilities, the simplified frontier declaration must be made by the timescale set by the operator of that location.

Choosing to make an early declaration

You may be able to make a declaration up to 30 days before the arrival of your goods, but it will only be formally accepted when they have actually arrived and been presented to customs.

What you’ll need

The declaration will need to include the:

You also need to provide information such as:

  • the departure point and destination
  • the consignee and consignor
  • the type, amount and packaging of your goods
  • the transport methods and costs
  • currencies and valuation methods
  • certificates and licences

How to submit

You will need to use software that can submit declarations.

Find out which boxes you need to complete on your declaration when using Customs Declaration Service software.

When you are completing the declaration, you should read either the:

You’ll be sent a message through your software when customs have cleared your goods.

Controlled and restricted goods

You must enter restricted goods on the declaration as controlled. You’ll need to present your licence or certificate to release your goods.

You must also treat the following goods as controlled if you use simplified frontier declarations:

  • Agricultural Policy goods
  • excise goods
  • unmanufactured tobacco, not stemmed or stripped
  • unmanufactured tobacco, partly or wholly stemmed or stripped
  • tobacco refuse

After you submit

After you’ve submitted your simplified frontier declaration, you’ll need to complete a supplementary declaration.

Amend or cancel a declaration

Find out how to:

Published 5 November 2019
Last updated 31 January 2024 + show all updates
  1. Information about delaying your import declaration has been removed.

  2. Added information to show arrangements for movements from Ireland and in some cases Northern Ireland and Great Britain are changing from 31 January 2024.

  3. A link to guidance on moving goods under the Common Transit Convention through a Goods Movement Vehicle Service location has been added.

  4. Information has been updated about when to submit a declaration if the goods are arriving from Northern Ireland or Ireland.

  5. Information about Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) has been removed. You can no longer use CHIEF for import declarations unless you have permission from HMRC.

  6. Information about how to submit the declaration, including which guidance you should read when you're submitting it to help you complete it, has been updated.

  7. A link to guidance on how to amend or cancel a full import declaration has been added.

  8. The 'after you submit' section has been updated with how to amend or cancel simplified customs declarations.

  9. From 1 January 2022, if your goods move through a port using the goods vehicle movement service, you'll need to enter 'RRS01' in box 44 for CHIEF or Data Element 2/2 for the Customs Declaration Service.

  10. From 1 January changes to locations where you need to make a simplified frontier declaration before your goods board.

  11. The information on when you cannot import your goods on a simplified frontier declaration has been updated.

  12. This page has been updated because the Brexit transition period has ended.

  13. This page has been updated with information for 1 January 2021.

  14. First published.