Delayed import declarations now urgent as 175 day grace period ends

In anticipation of the the additional UK customs clearance procedures after Brexit, HMRC advised that declarations on EU imports could be delayed by up to 175 days to reduce interruptions to trade. This means that delayed import declarations from 1st January 2021 were due on 25th June, and importers are now required to clear their backlog.

In order to process these delayed import declarations, importers like you need to find a customs broker who has the required software, expertise, and certifications to accept the responsibility of clearing the goods. 

This is because your declarations have been entered against your company on the import by a simplified procedure, either an EIDR (Entry In the Declarant’s Records) or CFSP (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures). In order to correctly clear your delayed import declarations, and remain compliant with HMRC, your customs broker must be CFSP approved.

Unfortunately, obtaining approval for clearing CFSP or EIDR shipments can take anywhere from 4-5 months, providing there are no reasons for the application to be delayed. 

With the HMRC grace period on delayed import declarations ending, 1,000s of importers now required their declarations to be completed and approved customs brokers are in short supply. Moreover, these brokers are unable to accommodate everyone due to there being a limit on the amount of declarations they can accept against their guarantee.

Why are so many delayed import declarations outstanding?

The UK is no longer a part of the EU, as per the withdrawal agreement that came into effect from the 1st January 2021. This meant that goods being imported from the EU were no longer in free circulation, and required customs clearance on arrival to the UK. 

This meant that many importers needed to acquire an EORI number, understand what paperwork they need, and learn their responsibilities as INCOTERMS were added to their order, as well as knowing how to calculate import Duty and VAT for their profit margins. 

All of this, combined with there being no clear deal right up until the deadline, meant that importers were mostly unprepared for Brexit. Many have taken advantage of the delayed import declarations so that they can get all of their documentation together, as was HMRC’s intention when putting the measures in place.

However, other delayed customs declarations have been processed that are not the fault of the importer, and have added to the volume and confusion.

Hauliers and carriers who have been unable to wait for delays in customs clearance, as well as customs agents who have been simply overwhelmed with the increase in required clearances after Brexit, have been processing EIDR / CFSP declarations against their customers’ imports without their knowledge. 

These importers that assumed they were being compliant, and benefitting from the EU preferential duty and postponed Vat accounting schemes, are now finding they owe clearance of delayed import declarations.

As a result, there are now 1000s of importers looking for CFSP approved customs brokers, and potentially 1,000,000s of delayed customs declarations outstanding.

UK Customs Solutions are a CFSP-approved customs broker, and have expanded our team to process more delayed customs clearances. If you need help with delayed import declarations, or any other customs services, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you. 

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