Last reviewed 12 May 2021

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is offering advice to traders in Great Britain on how to submit their delayed customs import declarations for non-controlled goods imported from the EU.

It has issued its top tips for how to be ready to make delayed import declarations, and how businesses can access further support.

HMRC’s detailed letter can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/983653/Letter_to_UK_VAT-registered_businesses_about_guidance_available_to_help_them_trade_with_the_EU__May_2021_.pdf.

Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, Directors General, Borders and Trade and HMRC respectively, 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.”

For imports of most goods from the EU made during 2021, traders have two choices when making import declarations: either make a full declaration as the goods arrive into Great Britain or delay their declarations.

Details of the latter option can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/delaying-declarations-for-eu-goods-brought-into-great-britain.

Traders, or whoever is making declarations on their behalf, will need authorisations from HMRC before they can make supplementary declarations and it can take up to 60 days to get these.

Delayed declarations

Traders must:

  • as a legal requirement, keep an accurate record of what they are importing every time their goods arrive in Great Britain, including the date and time of the import, a written description of the goods and the associated commodity code

  • send HMRC their supplementary declaration within 175 days of the date the goods arrived in Great Britain. For example, if they imported goods on 1 January 2021, they need to complete their supplementary declaration by 25 June.