Guidance

Apply to use simplified declarations for imports

Find out about the different simplified declarations for imports and what you need to do to get authorisation to use them.

When you make an import declaration, you may be able to make a simplified declaration when your goods arrive at a UK or EU port or airport.

You need an authorisation to use simplified declaration procedures.

You can enter the goods to free circulation and special procedures:

  • inward processing
  • outward processing
  • authorised use
  • temporary admission
  • customs warehousing

Simplified declarations cannot be used if goods are entered into a special procedure using authorisation by declaration.

Choose the simplified declaration to use

Simplified declaration procedure

To use the simplified declaration you’ll need to:

  1. Check if the goods can be entered onto a simplified frontier declaration.

  2. Submit a simplified frontier declaration to Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

  3. Submit a supplementary declaration.

  4. Submit a final supplementary declaration.

Entry in the declarant’s records

To use Entry into the declarant’s records you’ll need to:

  1. Check if the goods can be entered into your own records.

  2. Clear your goods into free circulation by entering their details in your own records.

  3. Submit a supplementary declaration.

  4. Submit a final supplementary declaration.

Third-party representatives applying for authorisation

You may wish to act on behalf of your clients.

You’ll need to decide if you wish to apply as either an authorised indirect representative or an authorised direct representative.

For clients who are not established in the UK, indirect representation must be used. If you’ll be acting as an Indirect Representative, you will not be able to use your own simplified procedure authorisation when making declarations to any special procedure authorisations held by your client.

As an authorised direct representative you’ll only be able to act as a direct representative for goods imported into Great Britain and your client must be established in the UK.

What you’ll need

Before you import goods using simplified declarations, you’ll need:

Getting a duty deferment account

You must have a duty deferment account in place before we can authorise you for simplified procedures, however you can still apply before you have one by stating ‘pending’ next to ‘duty deferment account’ on your application form.

An authorised direct representative or authorised indirect representative may use a client’s deferment for payment, with their client’s permission.

Who can apply

To become authorised you need to:

  • be established in the UK
  • have a good customs compliance record, including VAT returns and duty deferment account payments
  • have no record of serious criminal offences related to your business activities
  • keep records of all declarations made for 4 years after the submission date and make this available to customs on request
  • have no record of serious criminal offences related to your business activities
  • provide and maintain written procedures

Your compliance record will be based on the last 3 years before you apply. During that period you should not have committed a serious infringement or repeated infringements of customs rules. If you’ve been established for less than 3 years, then your compliance will be judged on the records and information available, including your involvement in previous businesses.

Using someone to make declarations for you

Applying for authorisation yourself

You may wish to apply for the authorisation yourself but use a representative (direct representative) to make the simplified declarations on your behalf. You will need to provide details on the application of any direct representatives who will be responsible for submitting your supplementary declarations. If someone has made declarations on your behalf and holds records, these must be made available on request from HMRC.

Authorisations held by third-party representatives

You can get someone else who is authorised for simplified declarations to make them for you.

Responsibility for customs debt

Who will be responsible for VAT and customs duty payments depends on whether they will be acting directly or indirectly.

If someone has made declarations on your behalf and holds records, these records must be available at your premises.

How to apply

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

You must also provide:

  • written procedures
  • list of Customs Procedure Codes and Commodity Codes
  • client list (where you are applying to be either or both an authorised direct representative or an authorised indirect Representative)

From 1 January 2021

If you’re bringing goods which are not controlled into Great Britain from the EU, you may be able to:

  • declare your goods by entering them in your records without getting authorisation in advance
  • make a supplementary declarations up to 6 months later

Find out more about declaring goods in your records without authorisation.

Published 5 November 2019
Last updated 1 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. The page has been updated with changes to the application form and process.

  2. 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.

  3. This page has been updated with information about a temporary easement to simplified procedures.

  4. First published.