Guidance

Setting up an account to defer duty payments when you import goods

Find out how to set up a duty deferment account so you can delay paying most customs charges.

If you import goods regularly, you can apply for a duty deferment account to delay paying most customs charges. For example:

  • customs duty
  • excise duty
  • import VAT
  • Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) levies

A duty deferment account lets you make one payment a month through Direct Debit instead of paying for individual consignments.

You can apply for a duty deferment account if you’re an importer or an agent who represents importers.

Apply for a duty deferment account

To apply you must:

  1. Apply for a duty deferment account.

  2. Ask your bank, building society or insurance company to guarantee your duty payments.

  3. Fill in a direct debit instruction and send it to the address on the form.

You’ll get a deferment approval number to use on your import declarations.

Authorise your freight forwarder or agent to use your deferment approval number

Authorise your freight forwarder or agent to request deferment of duty payment against your deferment approval number.

Get copies of your duty deferment statements

You can get copies of your duty deferment statements.

To sign up, you need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you sign up.

Reduce the amount of financial guarantee

Simplified Import VAT Accounting (SIVA) can reduce the amount of the guarantee so it only covers duty, not VAT.

Published 30 August 2019
  1. Step 1 Make sure your business has an EORI number that starts with GB

    You’ll need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number starting with GB to continue importing goods.

    1. Get an EORI number
  2. Step 2 Decide who will make the import declarations

  3. Step 3 Apply to make importing easier

    You can apply to use 'transitional simplified procedures' to reduce the amount of information you need to give at the border.

    1. Register for transitional simplified procedures
    2. Decide what other customs procedures you could use

    You may also be able to use the Common Transit Convention (CTC) to simplify how your goods pass through customs and when you pay customs duties.

    1. Find out if you can use CTC
  4. and Set up a duty deferment account if you import regularly

    Set up a duty deferment account if you want to be able to make one payment of customs duties a month instead of paying for individual shipments.

    You must set one up if you plan to use transitional simplified procedures.

    1. You are currently viewing: Set up a duty deferment account
  5. Step 4 Check the rate of tax and duty you’ll need to pay

    You’ll need to pay customs duties and VAT on all imports.

    1. Find out the rate of customs on imports after Brexit
    2. Check when you'll need to account for and pay VAT

    You’ll also need to pay excise duties if you’re importing alcohol, tobacco or biofuels.

    1. Find out the rate of excise duty on imports
  6. Step 5 Check what you need to do for the type of goods you import

    Depending on what you're importing, there might be other things you'll need to do to get your business ready.

    For example, you might need to change the labelling on your goods, apply for licences, or find and approved UK border inspection post where your goods can enter the UK.

    1. Check what you need to do for the type of goods you import