Guidance

Prepare to make supplementary declarations

Choose how you’ll make supplementary declarations for EU goods brought into Great Britain, that you entered into your own records without authorisation.

Most businesses use someone else to deal with customs for them.

If you made a declaration in your own records (without getting authorisation in advance) you need to decide who will make the supplementary declaration and they’ll need to be authorised to do this.

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

Before your supplementary declaration is due

You or the person dealing with customs for you will need to have a duty deferment account. This is so you can pay anything you owe.

Before the supplementary declaration is due you or someone dealing with customs for you, must:

  1. Choose which simplified declaration authorisation to apply for, to make your supplementary declarations.

  2. Check when your first supplementary declaration will be due – this is 175 days from when you import your goods.

  3. Apply for your authorisation as soon as possible – at least 60 days before you need to make your first supplementary declaration. If you are applying for your own simplified declarations authorisation you must also have a duty deferment account, or submit an application for one at the same time.

  4. Get a Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) badge or access to the Customs Declaration Service.

  5. Buy software that works with CHIEF or the Customs Declaration Service.

If you cannot get authorised before your first supplementary declaration is due, you’ll need to get someone who is authorised to submit your supplementary declaration on your behalf.

Choose which simplified declaration to use

There are 2 types of simplified declaration process:

1. Entry in the declarant’s records

You’ll enter the goods in your records and then provide full details about your goods in a supplementary declaration.

2. Simplified declaration procedure

You can make a simplified frontier declaration electronically with less details about your goods and then provide full details in a supplementary declaration.

If you have used an entry in declarants records without authorisation to import goods between 1 January and 31 December 2021, you can use either entry in declarants records or simplified declarations procedure to make your delayed supplementary declarations.

From 1 January 2022 you must make your imports by the simplified declaration method you are authorised for.

Who can apply

The authorisation conditions are different for each procedure. You must have a duty deferment account to be authorised for simplified declaration processes.

If someone else is dealing with customs for you, you should agree with them whose duty deferment account will be used. You must provide them with written agreement to use your duty deferment account.

Simplified declaration procedure

To become authorised to make these declarations, you need to:

  • be established in the UK
  • have a good customs compliance record, including VAT returns and duty deferments
  • show how you’ll keep within your deferment account limit
  • show how you’ll identify and report any errors found after you’ve submitted your final supplementary declaration to the simplified customs procedures National Assurance Team, where applicable
  • carry out declaration procedures to a professional standard
  • make sure the applicant, directors and senior employees are free of any criminal records that would prevent HMRC from giving authorisation
  • have procedures in place to ensure you do not import prohibited goods
  • have licences for any restricted goods
  • have procedures in place to manage declarations

Entry in the declarant’s records

You must meet the same conditions that apply for simplified declaration procedures.

You must also show that:

  • you’ll keep records of all declarations for no less than 4 years after their submission date
  • you can meet licensing and other control requirements
  • you manage your business in a way that allows customs to make effective compliance checks for example, how:
    • you keep the audit trail
    • your business records are backed up and kept secure
    • you identify and handle errors related to the flow of goods

Some licensing processes are digital and you can only process these licenses on a declaration in CHIEF. We will tell you if you need to do this for your goods.

You need to allow customs to audit your system, providing staff access to an office, a toilet and car parking, free of charge. This is for either simplified declaration procedures or entry in the declarant’s records applications.

How to apply

To apply for authorisation to use simplified declarations, you need to complete form C&E48.

After you’ve applied

  1. We will write to you to confirm if you’re authorised to use simplified declarations. The letter will tell you what conditions you’ll need to maintain to keep your authorisation.

  2. You’ll need to make a supplementary declaration using either CHIEF or Customs Declaration Service within 175 days from the date the goods were imported.

  3. You can claim a tariff rate quota but you should submit your supplementary declaration as soon as possible.

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 175 days after the goods have been imported, has been changed from 30 June 2021 to 31 December 2021.

  2. First published.