Looking for a customs agent?
5 January 2021
The Brexit transition period has come to an end and a new customs border has been created between the UK and EU. If you are moving goods to or from the UK then you need to ensure that you have all the correct procedures in place.
One of the most important areas that businesses must consider is how to make customs declarations. Customs declarations can be difficult and time consuming to complete. Businesses can make their own customs declarations; however, this is complex and requires specialist skills and software.
Most businesses use a specialist such as a customs agent, broker, freight forwarder or fast parcel operator to submit import and export customs declarations on their behalf. HMRC publishes a regularly updated list of customs agents and fast parcel operators who may be able to help.
Since 1 January 2021, customs agents can make simplified declarations for you using their own authorisation, so you don’t need to be authorised. They can only do this if:
- your business is established in the United Kingdom
- your business imports goods into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales)
- the customs agent has the appropriate authorisation
HMRC’s guidance is clear that if your goods do not have the right paperwork, or if information is incorrect or missing, your goods may be seized, and you may face delays and have to pay extra charges.
If you are moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the free Trader Support Service can help guide you through new processes. Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, all Northern Ireland businesses will continue to have unfettered access to the whole UK market.