Prepare to make supplementary declarations from 1 January 2021

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

New rules for January 2021

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.

This page tells you what you'll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

You can also read about the transition period.

What you’ll need

If you made a declaration in your own records from 1 January to 30 June 2021 (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. Most businesses use someone else to deal with customs for them.

If your business is not established in the UK, you must get someone established in the UK to deal with customs for you (and they must act indirectly).

Before the 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.

If you decide to do it yourself, you’ll also have to do the following before the supplementary declaration is due:

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

  2. Apply for your authorisation as soon as possible and at least 120 days before you need to make your first supplementary declaration which is due within 6 months of when you import your goods.

  3. Get a CHIEF badge.

  4. Buy software that works with CHIEF.

If you’re not able to 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.

If you want to make supplementary declarations from 1 January 2021

You can apply for a simplified declaration authorisation before 1 January 2021 without having a duty deferment account in place. If your authorisation for simplified customs declarations process is accepted, it will be valid from 1 January 2021, but you must you have a duty deferment account in place by then.

Choose which simplified declaration to use

There are 2 types of simplified declaration process:

  • 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
  • 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

Even if you chose to make your initial declaration in your own records, you need to choose either ‘entry in the declarant’s records’ or ‘simplified declaration procedure’ authorisation to make your supplementary declaration.

But for any goods imported from 1 July 2021 you’ll need to follow the rules for the authorisation you’ve got if you choose to continue using simplified declarations.

Who can apply

The authorisation conditions are different for each procedure.

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

HMRC 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.

You’ll need to make a supplementary declaration within 6 months from the date the goods were imported.

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

Published 16 October 2020