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HMRC internal manual

Customs Freight Simplified Procedures

HM Revenue & Customs
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Supplementary Declarations (SDs): submission timescales

All SDs must be accepted and finalised by CHIEF by the ‘end of the reporting period’ in which the base date occurred.

The base date for the submission of the SD is either the:

  • CHIEF acceptance date and time of the SFD for goods declared under the SDP or
  • The tax point and date of ‘entry in the records’ to release goods to a customs procedure for goods declared under the EIDR.

The sections below explain the different reporting periods which may be operated by CFSP traders and specify the timescales by which the SDs must be finalised. The standard reporting period ends on the fourth working day (unless otherwise notified by Customs via the HMRC website) following the end of the accounting period (eg for the accounting period of January the standard reporting period ends on the fourth working day of February).

Note: Exceptionally where public holidays affect the accounting timetable, supplementary declaration details may be required by the end of the third working day of the reporting period. In these circumstances, traders will be notified in advance via the HMRC website. Whilst it is not a condition of authorisation that declarations be submitted daily, it is strongly recommended that traders submit their declarations regularly throughout the reporting period. This minimises the burden on departmental systems at the period end and also provides the trader with a longer period of time in which to action any error messages. By evening out the submission of their declarations, traders are also spreading their own operational workloads and therefore avoiding any last minute rushes. Traders may wish to submit their SDs as individual transmissions to Customs, in overnight batches or as a weekly transmission. Whichever option the trader chooses, the message file size sent to EDCS must not exceed 3 Mb. Any messages that exceed 3 Mb will be rejected and returned unprocessed to the trader.

Due to exceptional circumstances such as a computer systems breakdown, traders will occasionally be unable to submit their electronic declarations by the deadline date. In these cases, officers should provide assistance in attempting to resolve any difficulties as quickly as possible. However, traders who fail to correct any technical problems within a specified time period could be subject to further action, including civil penalties and suspension of their authorisation.

Extensions to the ‘end of reporting’ period are not normally allowed as it can result in the revenue not being collected from the trader on time. If traders are having difficulties meeting the deadlines and it is likely that SDs will be outstanding at the end of the period, traders must advise the following information to the CNAT by fax or email:

  • the authorised CFSP trader’s name, EORI and Deferment Account Number
  • the month in question
  • the total number of SDI/SDWs not submitted in time
  • the total amount of revenue due but not paid on the outstanding SDs, broken down into customs duty, excise duty and VAT as applicable and
  • the sender’s name and position within the business.

This must be sent to:

HM Revenue & Customs
Peter Bennett House
LS16 6RQ
Fax 0113 3894490
Email <>

This information must also be provided by the fourth working day deadline.

Customs will then arrange for this amount to be debited to the trader’s deferment account. The trader will still be required to submit all the outstanding SDs within such time as an officer may allow. When this has been done the trader will again need to fax or email Customs with the following information:

  • the authorised CFSP trader’s name, EORI and Deferment Account Number (DAN)
  • the month in question
  • the number of previously outstanding SDI/SDWs now submitted
  • the total amount of revenue due, broken down as above
  • a list of the entry numbers relating to the SDs and
  • the sender’s name and position within the business.

CNAT should then credit the traders deferment account with the amount of revenue initially ‘estimated’ to avoid the trader having to pay twice.

Failure to comply with the conditions and requirements of this procedure and the general authorisation will result in Customs taking action against the trader and may result in a Civil Penalty (see CFSP21100) and/or the authorisation being suspended or revoked (see CFSP19100).

In all cases the outstanding revenue must be collected. It should be noted that if outstanding revenue is to be collected in a subsequent accounting period the level of the Duty Deferment Account may need to be increased to reflect this.

Customs duty

The standard reporting period for CFSP, if traders are not importing excise goods or using across tax point aggregation (see below), is one calendar month. The SDs must therefore be submitted by the end of the fourth working day of the month following the base date. For example:


  • SFD to warehousing accepted by CHIEF on 1 January
  • SD due by end of the fourth working day of February.


  • Entry in records made to release goods from a Customs Warehouse on 29 January
  • SDW due by end of the fourth working day of February.

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Excise duty

Any SDs submitted which declare excisable goods (whether customs duty is declared or not) must be submitted according to the excise reporting periods. For excise purposes the calendar month is split into two reporting periods to allow the collection of the excise duty on the twenty-ninth of the month and the customs duty and VAT on the fifteenth of the month. As a result traders declaring excise goods through CFSP are required to submit their declarations in fortnightly reporting periods. These periods are as follows:

  • fifteenth - end of the month (Excise 1)
  • first - fourteenth of the month (Excise 2)

For example:


  • Excise 1 - SFD accepted on twenty ninth of January, the SDI is due by the fourth working day of February.
  • Excise 2 - SFD accepted on the fifth of January, the SD is due by the fourth working day following the fourteenth of January.


  • Excise 1 - Entry in the records and tax point created twenty ninth of January, SDW due by fourth working day of February
  • Excise 2 - Entry in the records and tax point created on the fifth of January, SDW due by the fourth working day following the fourteen of January.

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Across tax point aggregation

Traders may aggregate ‘like’ goods on a daily basis however in order to operate aggregation across the tax point, they must meet the authorisation criteria outlined in CFSP06300. Aggregated declarations must not exceed the 3Mb message file size limit. The aggregation reporting periods are shown below.

Customs periods:

  • first - tenth of month
  • eleventh - twentieth of month
  • twenty first to month end.

Therefore all initial declarations with a base date occurring between the first and tenth of January will need to be included on a finalised aggregated declaration before the end of the fourth working day following the tenth of January. The tax point date shown on the aggregated declaration must be the last day in the aggregation period, eg 10 January.

Excise periods:

  • fifteenth to month end.
  • first - fourteenth of month

Therefore the aggregated excise SD for base dates occurring between the fifteenth of January and the end of the month must be finalised by CHIEF before the end of the fourth working day of February. As above, the tax point quoted on the aggregated message must be the last day of the aggregated period, eg 31 January.

Ten days is the maximum period that the trader can aggregate SDs, however this may be reduced if agreed with the authorising office/r. The agreed period of aggregation must be detailed in the C&E58 authorisation letter.