Making an import declaration in your records without authorisation

Find out how to declare goods brought into Great Britain from the EU by entering the details in your own records without getting authorisation in advance.

You may be able to make an import declaration in your records without authorisation.

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

  • deal with customs for you - they will be acting as an indirect representative
  • make the declaration in their records and make the supplementary declaration

If you decide to get someone else to deal with customs declaration requirements and make all the necessary declarations on your behalf they’ll enter the goods in their records and make the supplementary declaration.

You can get someone else to make the supplementary declaration on your behalf after you’ve imported your goods but you will need to make the entry in your own records.

Check if you can make an import declaration in your records without authorisation.

What you’ll need to record

You’ll need to include the following information in your records:

  • the customs procedure code
  • a unique consignment reference – this could be invoice number, stock record number or job number
  • purchase number (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
  • a written description of the goods – so they are easy to identify
  • the commodity code based on the description of the goods
  • customs value
  • quantity of goods – for example, number of packages and items, net mass

You may also need:

  • the stock account reference number – if you put the goods into temporary admission, a customs warehouse or temporary storage
  • the warehouse approval number
  • details of licensing requirements and licence numbers
  • details of any supporting documents that are needed, including the serial numbers
  • details of the person you’re representing if you are making a declaration on behalf of someone else

If you use roll on roll off ports or other listed locations, you’ll need to make a declaration before your goods arrive.

You must also provide your EORI number to the haulier as confirmation you are using delayed declarations before the goods arrive in Great Britain.

After you’ve made an entry in your records

1. Pay or account for import VAT

You’ll need to either:

If you’ve imported vehicles, you will need to check the information you need to provide.

2. Make an Intrastat declaration

You must submit monthly Intrastat supplementary declarations for arrivals from the EU if you’re required to.

3. Give HMRC details about your goods

You can claim a tariff rate quota but you should submit your supplementary declaration as soon as you’re able to claim the quota.

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

From 1 January 2022

For goods you import from 1 January 2022, you cannot:

  • make a declaration in your records without authorisation
  • delay the supplementary declarations

You or the person doing your declarations for you will need to either:

You can choose whether to account for VAT on your VAT Return or pay when you make your declaration.

Published 16 October 2020
Last updated 16 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. The final date that you can use the deferred declaration scheme, including submitting supplementary declarations up to 6 months after the goods have been imported, has been changed from 30 June 2021 to 31 December 2021.

  2. First published.