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HMRC internal manual

Customs Freight Simplified Procedures

Introduction to authorisation: general information, principles of authorisation, eligibility and application

General information

Sections CFSP13000 - CFSP1800 explain how to authorise a trader for CFSP. We strongly recommend that the CFSP pre-authorisation checklist CFSP23000 and CFSP visiting officer’s report CFSP24000 are used for this purpose. By following each step and fully completing each document the authorising officer will be assured that each aspect of the authorisation process is addressed. By retaining these documents in the trader’s folder the officer will have a useful tool for audit visits and it will help if a dispute occurs at a later date. Proper maintenance of the trader’s folder is essential in ensuring a valid and comprehensive audit trail.

Principles of authorisation

All traders wishing to operate CFSP must be authorised by law. Requiring authorisation before use helps ensure that only reliable and responsible traders are allowed to use this very flexible method of simplified clearance. Control is maintained through pre-authorisation checks, post clearance activity and audit controls.


Authorisation can only be granted to legal entities (legal debtors). Application for CFSP may be made by any economic operator legally established in the EU that is regularly involved in customs activities. Further details on eligibility are in the AEO guidelines in the AEO public folder in Outlook. To be authorised for CFSP, traders must meet all the general criteria and conditions listed in CFSP13250 as well as those specific to the type of CFSP they wish to use. Although both importers and third parties (IR only) may be authorised for CFSP, third parties may be subject to additional criteria and conditions.


Interested traders should contact the Excise and Customs Helpline for more information and/or a CFSP application form (C&E48). A copy of the application form can also be downloaded from the Forms section of the HMRC website at or the CFSP UoE web page.

Completed application forms should be sent to the trader’s Client Relationship Manager (if a Large Business trader) or the Authorisation and Returns Team (ART) in Leeds (if a CITEX trader) for consideration.

See Form C&E48 on the CFSP webpage.