4. Other import procedures

In addition to the procedures already detailed for declaring goods at import a number of special arrangements exist to facilitate trade in a variety of different circumstances. These facilities are summarised in this section.

4.1 Bulk consignments procedures

Bulking of consignments of documents eligible for admission under CPCs 4000C31, 4000C34, 4000C35, 4000C36, 4900C31, 4900C34, 4900C35 and 4900C36.

Declaration of items under the above CPCs must be made on an abbreviated form C88 using a valid EORI number, subject to the following conditions:

  • prior approval by customs must be given
  • the single item declaration must be supported by a manifest identifying the individual items in the consignment with enough detail for control purposes, subject to the satisfaction of local customs
  • invoices for each item in the consignment must be held by the trader to support the manifest, except for un-invoiced documents of CPCs 4000C31, 4000C34, 4000C35, 4000C36, 4900C31, 4900C34, 4900C35 or 4900C36, when details of the names and addresses of the consignor and consignee must be held – these will occasionally be required to verification by local customs and must be produced on request
  • the consignee box 8 is to show a valid EORI number

Low Value Bulking Imports (LVBI)

CPC’s 40 00 003 and 49 00 003 for goods not exceeding £15 intrinsic value.

CPCs 40 00 005, 49 00 005 for goods of an intrinsic value of between £15 and £135.

CPCs 49 00 011 and 49 00 012 for goods not exceeding £135 dispatched from the Channel Islands Only.

Prior authorisation for use of these CPCs must be obtained from:

National Imports Relief Team (NRIT)
HM Revenue and Customs
Sapphire Plaza
Watlington Street

These CPCs must not be used for goods:

  • subject to a prohibition or restriction
  • intended for any customs regime or relief
  • subject to Excise Duty

Goods must not be intended for Onward Supply relief (OSR) or the CSDR samples relief proper to CPC 40 00 C30.

Consignments of bulked goods must be dispatched from either a third country (40 00 003 and 40 00 005) from a special territory (49 00 003 and 49 00 005) or from the Channel Islands (49 00 011 and 49 00 012) direct to a consignee in the EU. The goods must be entered to free circulation at the port/airport prior to onward dispatch to consignee in another member state.

Where goods are from multiple consignors or intended for multiple consignees boxes 2 and 8 must be completed as follows:

Box 2

Multiple consignors must be entered as AI code 00200 in each of the name, street, city and postcode fields. The EORI field can be left blank for multiple consignors.

Box 8

Multiple Consignees must be entered as AI code 00200 in each of the name, street, city and postcode fields and enter the EORI number of the deferment account you are authorised to use.

Box 14

Enter Name, Address and EORI number of LVBI approved entity. Where the EORI number is the same as Box 8, leave all fields blank. The declarant’s/agent’s details must be entered in Box 44 as a GEN 46 statement along with the appropriate representation code. Enter AI statement BULKD and enter LVBI approval number in text box at item level.

4.2 Multiple consignors for LVBI procedures

If there is more than one consignor and you are inputting the entry direct to CHIEF, additional information code 00200 (see additional information codes for harmonised declarations) can be entered in the address fields. The country code field (for Box 2) should contain the code for the country from which the goods have been exported. For the name field ‘00200 – see list attached’ should be entered. These details will need to be entered at header level.

4.3 Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP)

CFSP offers a 2 part declaration procedure. The initial declaration will have a reduced number of boxes to complete in comparison to a full declaration. The second part of the declaration is where the duty and import VAT due is calculated and declared to HMRC. Get authorisation to use CFSP by completing a C&E48 form.

Full details of CFSP declarations and how to apply is in Notices 760.

4.4 Goods imported by post

Consignments of goods imported by letter or parcel post must comply with internationally agreed arrangements which are embodied in UK postal and customs regulations. One essential requirement is that postal packages must be accompanied by a properly completed customs declaration, either on form CN22 or CN23 (a ‘green label’) as appropriate, which describes in full the nature, quantity and value of the goods contained in the package.

Most imported postal packages are cleared by customs under this arrangement, but a full import declaration, on a SAD, must be presented for high value consignments and for goods which are eligible for certain duty or tax reliefs or when further information about the goods is required.

Full information about the customs procedures for postal imports are contained in the Post Office guide, copies of which are available for reference at most main post offices.

4.5 Imports of personal and household effects

Standard import declarations are replaced by declarations on form C3 for all personal and household effects imported as freight.

A written declaration is not normally required when these goods are imported in accompanied baggage.

4.6 Imports of privately owned motor vehicles or pleasure craft

Standard import declarations are not required for privately owned motor vehicles or pleasure craft accompanied at import by the owner if they are for their personal use. Full details about the special declarations required in these circumstances are contained in Notice 8 and Notice 3.

Commercially imported motor vehicles and pleasure craft are subject to normal declaration requirements.

4.7 Goods imported in a passenger’s baggage

Commercial importations in a passenger’s accompanied baggage must be declared to customs in the normal way. Procedures relating to merchandise in baggage are described in Notice 6.

A formal written declaration on form C88 is not usually required if the goods:

  • have a value of less than £800
  • are covered by an ATA Carnet
  • are re-imported samples covered by the simplified procedures as described in Notice 236

4.8 ATA Carnets

An ATA carnet is an international customs document that can be used in place of normal customs documents to temporarily export certain goods for use outside the EU. It can also be used to temporarily import non-EU goods for use in the UK/EU.

Full information about the use of ATA carnets can be obtained from Chambers of Commerce or can be found in Notice 104.

4.9 Customs Clearance Request (CCR) form C21


The customs clearance request (form C21) is only for use at locations with computerised inventory links. The clearance request is required in order to clear inventory records and contains the minimum of information necessary to identify the goods and declare any revenue due.

Conditions of use

The C21 is used for inventory clearance purposes when a declaration is not required for CHIEF. The CPCs which relate to these situations are:

  • 00 00 010
  • 00 00 020
  • 00 00 011
  • 00 00 040
  • 00 00 041
  • 00 00 042
  • 00 02 090
  • 00 08 020
  • 00 09 090

Full details of the customs procedures which relate to these CPCs are contained in customs procedure codes.

Plain paper option

DTI traders may opt to present computer produced plain paper versions of the clearance request. The conditions of use are the same as for the plain paper SAD.

Plain paper forms must be fully completed in the same way as the printed form.


Evidence of VAT paid will normally be issued direct to consignees in the form of a monthly form C79 VAT certificate. To avoid incorrect claims and delays in VAT recovery, it is essential that declarants/consignees EORI number details are shown correctly. See Box 8 and Box 14.

Documents to be presented with the C21

Items such as commercial invoices, airway bills and packing lists.

If appropriate, form C1207S where charges are to be deferred under specific authority from the importer.

E2 output-acceptance advice, and if appropriate

E1 output-examination advice.

Preference forms, or EU transit/status forms where appropriate.

Any other documents required under CPC instructions.

Examination, Amendment and Clearance Procedures

All of these will follow the same principles that apply to the SAD.

Completion of the form

The rules for completion of the form are set out in completion of import declarations.

5. Imports to certain regimes

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