Frequently asked questions

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There are many different ways to make a customs declaration, but one convenient way is submitting it yourself using a system that connects to HMRC – like CustomsClear. Our software integrates directly with HMRC’s Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

Alternatively, you can make your customs declarations using a third-party agent, such as a customs broker or freight forwarder. Services provided by third parties can incur higher costs and may not give you as much transparency of where your goods are in the process.

Regardless of whether you submit your own declarations or pay a third party, most of the information needed to complete a declaration comes from you as the trader.

To complete the declaration, you must give HMRC information about the goods you’re moving: what they are, as well as how and where they are being imported from or exported to. For imports, HMRC can calculate the duty that needs to be paid to clear your goods for movement across a border and into free circulation. This means the goods have been cleared by HMRC (customs) and can be sold freely within the UK.

CustomsClear will help you understand which information you need for your type of declaration. It is easy to use and provides real-time feedback from HMRC, so you’ll always know the status of your declarations and where your goods are in the customs clearance process.

A customs declaration is an official document that provides details of goods that are being imported or exported. This includes information about what the goods are, how they’re packaged, as well as how and where they are being transported. It also provides information required to evaluate any safety and security requirements for the goods, like controlled goods, and enables the calculation for any applicable duty and VAT.

In legal terms, a customs declaration is the act through which you indicate the wish to place your goods under a given customs procedure.

Anyone importing or exporting goods between the UK and EU needs to complete a customs declaration for the movement of goods.

It’s the owner of the goods or a person acting on their behalf – such as a freight forwarding company or customs agent or broker – who is responsible for submitting a customs declaration.

Depending on the commercial terms used for the goods movement, the exporter may retain ownership of the goods until they are delivered to the recipient at their destination. In this scenario, the exporter is responsible for the export declaration in the country of departure and the import declaration in the country of destination.

Similarly, for imports, the point at which the recipient becomes the owner of the goods is dependent on the commercial terms. This may be at the point the goods cross the border, in which case the recipient is responsible for the import declaration.

Most businesses submit their declarations online. CustomsClear is online software that allows you to submit your own customs declarations. The software partially pre-populates declarations with information from a business’s profile, so there is less to manually fill in.

All goods being imported to or exported from the UK must go through customs clearance. To get customs clearance, you must go through the customs process and submit a customs declaration.

A customs declaration is a document containing information about goods being transported for import or export. The information you provide enables HMRC to calculate the cost of any duties you need to pay for the movement of those goods.

Making a declaration is the process by which you declare the value and contents of your shipments, as well as the purpose for moving goods. It’s also necessary to identify any security considerations as certain goods are subject to specific permits and licenses in order to be moved.

It’s important that your customs declarations are accurate, as it can affect the calculation of duties to pay before the goods can be cleared to enter free circulation – meaning the goods have been cleared by customs and can be sold freely within the UK. Inaccuracies can cause delays for goods crossing the border which could result in additional storage costs.

CustomsClear is online software that integrates directly with HMRC’s CDS, so that you can complete and submit your declarations online. You’ll get real-time feedback directly from HMRC so you can keep track of where your goods are in the process, and you’ll have full transparency of any duties you need to pay.

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