UK Customs Clearance Procedure

What is the custom clearance procedure in UK?

All goods that are coming into or leaving UK through all major ports and airports need to pass through the procedure of customs for assessment and clearance. After evaluation from checking documentations to physical examination, the custom authorities charge custom tariffs.

Documents required for UK Customs Clearance in non-EDI System

  • Supplier’s commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Certificate of Analysis from the country of origin
  • Bill of Lading or Delivery Order/Airway Bill
  • License wherever necessary
  • Letter of Credit/Bank Draft if required
  • Preference Certificates
  • Health certificates ( for foodstuffs etc )

Procedure of Import clearance in UK

  • Before arrival of your consignment, you can make a custom clearance request through the HM Revenue and Customs department link
  • When an importing ship or aircraft arrives at the place where goods are to be unloaded, the goods must be ‘presented’ to customs (in accordance with Article 139 of the UCC) by either the person/company in whose name or on whose behalf they were imported or who assumes responsibility for their onward carriage eg. freight haulage companies
  • All goods moved within the EU have a customs status. You can check the Union Customs Code (UCC) of your consignment.
  • All non-Union goods must be declared on a customs declaration.

Customs declarations must be submitted electronically to Customs Declaration Service (CDS), or using form C88.

  • Goods must be placed under the following customs procedure depending on the purpose-
  • Release for Free Circulation
  • Special Procedures (including transit, storage, specific use and processing)
  • (Re) Export
  • The declaration must be signed on behalf of the importer by any firm, company or individual the importer has given authority to, to act as a declarant for customs purposes.
  • After the legal acceptance of the declaration, all imported goods are liable to be examined by customs. If goods are selected for examination, the opening, unpacking and repacking must usually be done by employees of the dock company or an agent of the importer.
  • When the inspection report is approved by the concerned officer and VAT and other charges are levied, the custom bill is generated for payment.
  • Customs duties and other charges that are due must be paid, before the goods are cleared by customs.
  • You can then arrange delivery of cargo after submitting the clearance bill with the carrier of goods.

Types of Goods Detained by UK Customs

Goods are seized by UK customs in the following cases:

  • If the import/export of the said goods are prohibited like illegal drugs
  • If the import/export of the said goods are restricted like firearms, explosives and ammunition.
  • Some of the  food and plant products are also restricted if they aren’t free from pests and diseases, aren’t for your own use, weren’t grown in the EU
  • If the import/export of the said goodsis subjected to conditions which are not fulfilled (imported in excess of allowed quantity, non – declaration, concealment etc.)

Goods that are seized are either destroyed or sold unless you make a ‘restoration request’. If you break the rules, you may also be fined or prosecuted.

List of customs offices in UK

Check the above link for the UK customs office address, phone, email and more details.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.