Customs Information Checklist
Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI)
Ensure both buyer and seller are registered in their own country and have a valid EORI number to enable the sending/receiving of shipments between UK/EU.
Am I registered here.
Apply for an EORI here.
UK Tariff/Commodity Codes
Classify the tariff codes for all your products. You can get advice on how to classify your goods by contacting HMRC here.
Customs Procedure Codes (CPC)
Notify Simarco in advance of customs declarations if products are being temporarily imported or exported, for example, repair or exhibition etc and provide the correct CPC if different from standard ‘home use’ procedures. A list of CPC’s can be found here.
Export / Import Licence or Control
Identify if your products are subject to licencing or controls and liaise with your buyer/seller if applicable, to avoid financially costly errors and significant delays in transport. Products of animal origin (POAO) or high risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO) for human or pet consumption being examples where Health Certificates will be mandatory and require documentary, or physical examination at UK or EU entry points.
- Gov Export Guidance found here
- Gov Import Guidance found here
- POAO, HRFNAO and more information found here
Rules of Origin
Identify the UK/EU/non-EU content (including all components and raw materials) and whether your goods may qualify as being of UK or EU origin here.
When exporting from the EU to the UK a statement on origin can be made out by any exporter where the value of the consignment is 6,000 euros (currently £5,700) or less. Above this amount, the EU Exporter must have a Registered Exporter (REX) Number and include it in the statement.
When exporting from the UK to the EU you must include your EORI number in any statement you issue to your EU Customer, regardless of the value.
The statement on origin must be provided on an invoice, or any other commercial document (excluding a bill of lading), describing the originating product in sufficient detail to enable its identification.
It will be valid for 2 years from the date it was made out on imports into the UK and 12 months for imports into the EU.
If the mandatory statement below does not read correctly and/or not signed/dated, it may be deemed non-compliant and therefore duty applied by the destination customs office.
“The exporter of the products covered by this document (Exporter EORI No …) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of (for example UK) preferential origin.
(Place and date)
(Name of the exporter)
Ensure you factor the origin of goods when trading with EU businesses. If the product you are buying or selling does not qualify for UK or EU preferential status, it is possible duty is applicable at destination, something that could be very costly to the recipient of goods.
Further information on duty rates can be found:
Ensure that you include the correct internationally recognised Incoterms to your export commercial invoice. Incoterms 2020 and further guidance can be found here.
Wood Packaging Material
If you pack products on wooden pallets for shipping to/from UK and EU, you need to ensure they are ISPM15 approved.
Further information on ISPM15 regulations can be found:
- UK Gov importing and exporting wood & timber products here
- UK Gov wood packaging import & export here
- Defra link on wood packaging here
Exporter Commercial Invoice and Packing List
Ensure your documents contain all the relevant information to enable Simarco to complete customs entries on your behalf and that the content is accurate. Examples of both can be found below:
Nominating a Customs Broker
Consignees must ensure they nominate a customs broker in advance to ensure no delays in transport.
For imports into the UK via one of our scheduled services, be sure to nominate Simarco to act on your behalf by completing and returning a signed ‘Customs Clearance Agent to act as Direct Representative’ form, found below:
For exports to the EU, when making your booking with Simarco, please ensure you detail the consignee’s customs broker (if not a Simarco agent). This will help avoid clearance delays and potential additional costs at the destination.
Duty Deferment Account
Apply for your own duty deferment account here. This will aid your duty payment process (if applicable) when importing from the EU.
Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA)
From 1st January 2021, HMRC introduced PVA. This accounting process allows UK VAT registered businesses to import goods into the UK, to account for import VAT on their VAT return, rather than paying import VAT immediately the goods are customs cleared. No registration is required and will help cash flow for businesses importing from overseas.
Factor Customs Delays into your Supply Chain
What level of risk of documentary or even physical examination might apply for your goods imported from, or exported to EU countries? If working in time-sensitive sectors, consider how you or your EU clients may be impacted by customs delays (further considerations may include just-in-time practices, timed deliveries and potential penalties and short shelf-life goods).