This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Temporary Storage and Approved Depositories

Arrival of goods in the UK: presentation

When the importing means of transport arrives at the place where unloading is to take place, the goods must be presented to Customs. Goods must be presented immediately on their arrival in the UK. Should the Customs office be closed, presentation must take place within a hour of its re-opening.

Informing Customs of the arrival of the goods may take place using one of the following methods by using a customs approved computerised inventory system linked to Customs or if this fails by lodging form C1600A properly completed and accompanied by all the relevant documents to the National Clearance Hub (NCH). The Union Customs Code (UCC) requires all declarations to be electronic.

Goods presented that have been moved under a Union Transit procedure must do so under the rules applicable to that regime.  Once the transit movement has been discharged the declaration may be used for temporary storage if the declaration holds the required data elements for temporary storage.

Where the Operator requests, you may allow presentation and temporary storage declaration to be combined if the declaration holds the required data elements for temporary storage. In no circumstances should presentation be waived as a temporary storage declaration.  A temporary storage declaration can not be accepted until the goods to which it relates have arrived and been presented to Customs.

Customs Authorities may accept commercial documents or computer records instead if they contain the necessary data elements for temporary storage.

Examples of electronic commercial documents which may be allowed include the following:

  • bills of lading
  • airway bills
  • container manifests
  • load lists
  • ships’ manifests
  • consignment records
  • supplementary declarations to establish status of goods regarding tainted vessels

Where goods have travelled under Union Transit (UT) procedures, the data transmitted to the office of destination using the Anticipated Arrival Record on the NCTS, the SAD copy 4 or a copy of the Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) retained by the Office of Destination under NCTS fallback will be a temporary storage declaration if it contains the data elements required for temporary storage.

It may be lodged by one of the following:

  • the person who brought the goods into the Union
  • the person responsible for the movement of the goods to the temporary storage premises
  • the shipping, airline or haulage company
  • a representative of any of the above

There is a strict time limit for the lodging of the summary declaration once presentation has taken place. This has been interpreted to expect the summary declaration normally within one day following presentation.

EU Regulation 952/2013 Article 139.1

Goods brought into the customs territory of the Union shall be presented to customs authorities immediately upon their arrival at the designated customs office or any other place designated or approved by the customs authorities or in the free zone by one of the following

  1. the person who brought the goods into the customs territory of the Union
  2. the person in whose name or on whose behalf the person who brought the goods into the territory acts
  3. the person who assumed responsibility for the carriage of the goods after they were brought into the customs territory of the Union.

EU Regulation 952/2013 Article 139.3

Notwithstanding the obligation of the person described in paragraph 1, presentation of the goods may be effected instead by one of the following persons

A any person who immediately places the goods under a customs procedure

B the holder of an authorisation for the operation of storage facilities or any person who carries out an activity in a free zone.

EU Regulation 952/2013 Article 145.1

Non-Union goods presented to customs shall be covered by a temporary storage declaration containing all the particulars necessary for the application of the provisions governing temporary storage.

EU Regulation 952/2013 Article 145.3

The temporary storage declaration shall be lodged by one of the persons referred to in Article 139.1 or 2 at the latest at the time of presentation of the goods to customs.

EU Regulation 952/2013 Article 140.1

Goods shall be unloaded or transhipped from the means of transport carrying them solely with the authorisation of the customs authorities in places designated or approved by those customs authorities.

However, such permission shall not be required in the event of the imminent danger necessitating the immediate unloading of all or part of the goods. In that case, the customs authorities shall be informed accordingly.

EU Regulation 952/2013 Article 140.2

The customs authorities may at any time require goods to be unloaded and unpacked for the purpose of examining them, taking samples or examining the means of transport carrying them.

Notification to Customs

It is a condition of a temporary storage operator’s approval that they must note their electronic inventory records and promptly notify Customs Authorities of any prohibited, restricted, un-manifested or suspicious good detected on arrival into their premises.

Approval holder’s action on receiving goods

Under the conditions of the temporary storage approval the operator is to arrange for all containerised and non containerised consignments to be examined on their arrival. Any discrepancies between the goods and the accompanying documentation including un-manifested goods are to be noted and then notified to the Customs Authorities for their actions. The Operator is not to remove the goods from the premises until directed to do so by customs authorities.

Goods subject to checks at the place of importation

These goods, including live animals, must be notified by the person in charge of the goods so that they can be checked by the relevant control authority at the place of importation.

Authority to move such goods to inland premises may only be granted by the relevant customs authorities.

Goods requiring a Certificate of Veterinary Clearance or Health Certificate to be issued must remain within the approved area of the port/airport until it is issued.

Please note that some customs authorities do not allow inland clearance in any circumstances.