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One of the principal concerns of companies that are new to importing goods is what is required at customs. Any UK businesses that are importing or exporting goods are required to declare their shipments to HMRC. This is done in the form of a customs declaration.

What is a declaration of import?

If you are importing goods into the UK, then you will be required to fill in a customs declaration form. This is an official document on which you list exactly what is being imported or exported. This form includes all the details that the customs authorities require in order to evaluate the safety and security of the goods. This document will also allow for the calculation of any necessary import duties and VAT.

Some of the details that will need to be included are:

    • Commodity code
    • Customs procedure code
    • Declaration unique consignment reference. This is the main reference number that links declarations in the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system or the Customs Declaration Service.
    • Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR)
    • Destination and departure point
    • Consignor and consignee
    • Amount, type, and packaging of your goods
    • Transport costs and methods
    • Valuation methods and currencies used
    • Licences and certificates

Do I need to declare imports?

Customs declaration is a compulsory part of international trade of goods, including all UK-EU exports and imports. You can make the declaration yourself, or you can appoint someone to make the declaration on your behalf. In many cases, you may be able to make a simplified declaration.

If you are using an international forwarding company, they will be able to advise about what kind of declaration you will need to make, and in most cases will be able to handle the entire process for you.

Who is responsible for import declaration?

Customs declarations are legally required forms which are used to accompany goods as they leave or enter a market. It’s therefore the responsibility of businesses to declare all movement of goods to HMRC accurately and promptly.

In practice, this also means the importer is responsible to obtain any applicable licences, permits and compliance with quotas. Any incorrect declarations will lead to delays in the goods being cleared through ports and there may be fines and other penalties by HMRC as a result.

How using SSO International Forwarding can help

SSO International Forwarding provides a comprehensive import service to the UK. We can handle the entire process for you, including the import declarations procedure, saving you time and hassle, and eliminating the risk of mistakes.

We understand that the import process and documentation can seem complicated and confusing, particularly for new importers. We take the complexity out of the process for our clients ensuring that their goods reach them as quickly as possible.

Contact us today to find out more.

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