Making an import declaration in your records

Find out how to declare imported goods to customs by entering them in your own records.

You should check if you need to declare goods you bring into or take out of the UK before you make an entry in your records.

You can declare your goods by entering them in your own records and sending other details to customs if you:

You can declare your goods in your records using entry in declarant’s records unless your goods are:

  • controlled goods imported at the frontier (for goods imported into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) from Ireland, there is a different list of controlled goods)
  • hydrocarbon oils
  • imported under Admission Temporaire or Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet procedures
  • imported under authorisation by declaration
  • personal effects
  • imported under transfer of residence relief
  • agricultural policy goods
  • excise goods
  • unmanufactured tobacco, not stemmed or stripped
  • unmanufactured tobacco, partly or wholly stemmed or stripped
  • tobacco refuse

How to make an entry in records

You enter details of your goods into your records and need to include:

  • the commodity code
  • the customs procedure code
  • your declaration unique consignment reference — which is the main reference number that links declarations
  • purchase and, if available, the sales invoice numbers
  • the date and time of entry in records — creating the tax point, which is used for working out VAT payments later
  • any Free Zone, warehousing or temporary storage stock account references
  • the Free Zone or warehouse approval number
  • a written description of the goods — so they are easy to identify
  • customs value
  • quantity of goods — for example, number of packages and items, net mass
  • details of licensing requirements and licence numbers
  • details of any supporting documents, including the serial numbers, where appropriate, needed before the goods can be released
  • details of the person you’re representing if you are making a declaration on behalf of someone else

The next step depends whether your goods are delivered to inventory-linked premises or premises that are not inventory-linked.

Inventory-linked premises are linked to customs by computer.

Premises that are not inventory-linked are not linked to customs by computer.

Inventory-linked premises

When you enter your goods in your records, you will also need to complete a C21 declaration form. This will allow the goods to be cleared from the port where they entered.

The information you provide in the form is similar to the entry made in your own records.

After you’ve made an entry in your records

You’ll need to complete a supplementary declaration.

You must submit your supplementary declaration no later than the fourth working day following the month in which the goods were entered in your records.

If you have completed a C21 declaration, you must use the date that customs accept your declaration instead of the date your goods were entered in your records.

Published 5 November 2019
Last updated 10 May 2022 + show all updates
  1. This list of goods not to declare in your records using entry in declarant's records has been updated.

  2. The 'Controlled and restricted goods' section has been removed.

  3. Updated the guidance for controlled goods imported into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) from Ireland.

  4. The final date that you can use the deferred declaration scheme, including submitting supplementary declarations up to 175 days after the goods have been imported, has been changed from 30 June 2021 to 31 December 2021.

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

  6. If you’re importing standard goods into Great Britain from the EU between 1 January and 30 June 2021, you can use ‘entry in the declarant’s records’ without getting authorisation in advance and make a supplementary declaration 6 months later.

  7. First published.