HMRC publish new guidance on delayed customs import declarations

New Government advice will help traders submit customs import declarations for non-controlled goods imported from the EU, it has been announced.

The report comes after HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) wrote to more than 200,000 businesses reminding them of their new tax and customs obligations now that the UK has officially left the EU.

According to the guidance, businesses who have or will import goods during 2021 have two choices when making import declarations: make a full declaration as the goods arrive into Great Britain, or delay their declarations.

Where businesses choose to delay declarations, they must keep an accurate record of what they are importing – such as the date and time of the import, a detailed written description of the goods imported, and the commodity code(s).

A supplementary declaration should then be sent to HMRC within 175 days of the date the goods arrived in Great Britain.

Commenting on the new guidance, Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, Directors General, Borders and Trade, HMRC, said: “We know how hard businesses are working to adapt to the new rules and we want to do everything we can to help and support them to get things right.

“By offering the option to delay import declarations, we are giving businesses more time to prepare in what has been a challenging time for many.”

The guidance comes after the launch of the SME Brexit Support Fund, which offers grants of up to £2,000 to help businesses pay for specialist advice on the new importing and exporting processes.

The cash can be used to source professional advice so your business can “meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements” – meaning the grant could be used to offset some of your accounting costs.

Ms Green added: “There is plenty of support available, with online guidance and the new SME Brexit Support Fund now open, offering grants of up to £2,000 to pay for training or professional advice on adjusting to new customs, rules of origin and VAT rules.”

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