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HMRC internal manual

Customs Freight Simplified Procedures

Simplified Frontier Declarations (SFDs): general information

The SFD is in a SAD format and is submitted electronically to Customs via DTI using the Insert Import Frontier Declaration (IIFD) transaction. At air/ports that do not have an electronic link to CHIEF it may be presented manually. In these instances it should be accompanied by a C130 or other locally accepted removal note.

The SFD acts as a request to Customs to release the goods from frontier control under the terms of the authorised trader’s CFSP authorisation. The SFD requires a minimum number of boxes to be completed (see CFSP05150). The box requirements are specified according to the CFSP frontier Customs Procedure Code (CPC) used.

The frontier CPC informs Customs:

  • which type of CFSP is being used
  • whether to expect any accompanying paperwork
  • which routing the goods should normally be subject to
  • any special frontier controls which may be required
  • the risk category of the goods and
  • to which procedure the goods are being released (ie warehousing, IP, warehousing, transit, etc).

A full list of CFSP frontier CPCs with their SFD completion requirements are in Volume 3 Appendix E2 of the UK Tariff.

Where SFDs are assigned a route 6 the time out will be zero. Subject to the CPC used and any frontier post-clearance checks supporting documentation will not normally be required, however these must be available.

The information provided on the SFD (including the CPC) is used by the UK Borders Agency and by Customs (the National Clearance Hub), in conjunction with the information contained within the port inventory and manifest systems, to perform any necessary anti-smuggling checks, border admissibility controls and examinations prior to granting release of the goods. It is not expected that routine pre-clearance checks will be set to generate against SFDs for any goods (subject to anti-smuggling checks) other than those that are controlled. Therefore most SFDs (except those described in CFSP03350) should usually be assigned a route 6 status.

The acceptance date and time of the SFD by CHIEF stipulates the base date by when the Supplementary Declaration (SD) must be submitted. According to the CPC used, it also establishes the tax point for the goods.

A separate SFD is required for each consignment released from the frontier (unless the goods are imported using full CT procedures (NCTS), where a C21 is completed instead). The SFD must be specific to the consignee, the inland designated premises to which the goods are being released and the appropriate CFSP CPC(s). SFDs must not be bulked across consignees unless specific authorisation is granted and an ‘Anti-Smuggling Net’ (ASN) is provided. This concession is only available to Indirect Representatives (IRs).

IRs may therefore choose between the submission of an individual SFD for each consignee (standard requirement) or the provision of a bulked SFD with an ASN (concession). An ASN must be provided at each air/ port used and must meet the requirements of anti-smuggling staff at each location (see CFSP14700 for more details).