1.1.1      Import Facilitations

From 1 January, a number of facilitations will be available to reduce the impact of import processes. This section covers a range of facilitations, but is non exhaustive. The existing range of customs facilitations for RoW trade will also be available for EU imports.


From 1 January 2021 traders will be able to move goods into the UK customs territory under the Common Transit Convention (CTC). The requirements for moving goods under the CTC are not significantly altered by the staged introduction of import controls. Further detail on how Transit movements will work in the air and rail environment will be provided in due course.

Arrivals to the UK

When transit movements arrive in the UK, the goods and the Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) must be presented at an office of transit. The UK Government intends to allow the Office of Transit process to be completed digitally, using the new Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS).

Hauliers will be required to submit their Transit Movement Reference Numbers (MRNs) and vehicle/trailer registrations via the GVMS before checking in at the port of departure. This information will be assessed during the crossing to the UK and the person in control of the goods will be notified if they are clear to proceed on their journey or require a check. Some ports may still choose to operate a paper-based Office of Transit. In this circumstance, hauliers should present their goods and Transit Accompanying Documents to customs officials at the port of arrival in GB.

Transit and the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS)

More details on the process for using the GVMS can be found in the Stage 3 Core Import Model, SECTION 3.1. The process for moving goods under Transit will be the same as for moving goods under the pre-lodgement model, except that the MRN which forms the Goods Movement Reference (GMR) will be generated from the Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) rather than CHIEF. The paper TAD must also still travel with the goods.

Ending transit movements

The most efficient way to end movements is to become registered as an authorised consignee, which enables movements to end at traders’ premises. Details on applying can be found here. Alternatively, goods should be taken to a government office of destination.

The goods and TAD must be presented to the office of destination or an authorised consignee. In order for the movement to be ended, the goods must be imported or discharged into another customs procedure.

Discharging a CTC movement into a customs procedure

When ending CTC movements in GB, for January, in line with the staged approach to customs declarations, there are two options for submitting customs declarations for importing standard goods. Traders will either need to complete a standard customs declaration if they are moving

controlled goods or alternatively keep a record of the imported goods and defer the declaration to HMRC for up to six months from the point of import. For traders deferring their customs declaration, providing the EORI at the office of destination will be sufficient for the Transit movement to be discharged. Traders moving controlled goods will need to provide the MRN. If this does not happen by the time the goods arrive they must be placed into temporary storage.


Traders moving goods under transit need to provide a guarantee to secure any customs duty, import VAT and excise duty suspended during the transit movement. Businesses using transit should apply for an authorisation to use a Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) and obtain a guarantee from a bank or other financial institution.

Businesses can be authorised to end a transit movement from their own premises as an

authorised consignee, rather than at a government office of destination.

Authorised consignees need to have authorised temporary storage facilities.


Lodging a transit declaration requires access to the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS).

Simplified Declarations for Imports

Traders moving controlled goods from January 2021 may be able to use Simplified Declarations to reduce the process requirements at the border. More information is available here.


Traders either need to be authorised to use simplified declaration processes themselves, or use an intermediary’s authorisation. The requirement to be authorised includes having a good customs compliance record, demonstrating that customs records are maintained and declarations can be submitted to HMRC.

Where traders use their intermediaries’ authorisation this previously involved the trader and intermediary taking on joint liability for paying duties and VAT. However, from January 2021 traders will be able to do so without the intermediary becoming jointly liable.

Traders deferring their declarations will need access to this type of authorisation – either by getting authorised themselves, or having access to an authorised intermediary – by the time they submit their supplementary declarations.

There are two options for simplified declarations for imports: Entry in Declarant’s Records (EIDR), and Simplified Frontier Declarations (SFD).

EIDR does not require goods to be declared to customs using HMRC systems upon import, with the information recorded in the importer’s commercial records. More information is available here.

SFD requires a reduced data set to be submitted upon import. Both therefore mean fewer requirements at the border, with additional customs information submitted via a supplementary declaration at a later date to HMRC. More information is available here.

Other import facilitations

  • Temporary Storage facilities that are not part of an existing inventory-linked community will be able to temporarily operate without an inventory linked system in place until 1 July 2021. They will still be required to have control over their facility and keep effective
  • Temporary Customs approvals will be issued to rail terminals, airports and pipeline operators receiving imported goods from the EU that do not currently have one. These temporary approvals will be issued to operators, who have demonstrated they have met the necessary steps, providing an extra six months for the operators to receive full approvals issued by Border Force. Smaller airfields and air strips receiving general aviation flights only will be given 18 months to receive a full Certificate of Agreement approval from Border Force, although restrictions
  • Authorised parcel operators will be able to submit a bulked customs declaration for non- controlled goods with a value not exceeding £135.
  • Duty Deferment Accounts (DDAs) will be required for traders making deferred declarations (standard goods) because deferring a customs declaration also means deferring the duty payable. A DDA belonging to either the trader or their agent must be in place at the point of submitting the supplementary declaration (which can be deferred up to six months from point of import). Traders importing controlled goods will need access to a DDA at point of import if they are using simplified declaration procedures. HMRC are introducing new rules that will allow most businesses to use duty deferment without needing to obtain a Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG). This will not apply to businesses that have a history of non-compliance or are at risk of
  • Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Status – Traders can AEO status for moving goods between the UK and the EU. AEO status is an internationally recognised quality mark that shows a business’s role in the international supply chain is secure and has customs control procedures that meet UK and EU standards. Further information is available here.

1.1.2      Non-Freight Imports

Travellers with commercial goods in accompanied baggage (Merchandise in Baggage) Traders carrying standard (non-controlled) commercial goods in their luggage or a small vehicle with a value not exceeding £1500, will need to make a simple online declaration either before arriving into GB or make an oral declaration at the point of import using a Red Point/Channel if it exists at the GB port.

For goods over £1500 or controlled goods, traders will need to make a standard electronic customs declaration before arrival, or an oral declaration at a Red Point/Channel if one exists at the GB port of entry.

Cash Controls

From 1 January 2021 individuals travelling into GB carrying £10,000 or more will be required to declare this. These requirements will also fall on couriers who are transporting cash on behalf of business.

Declarations can be made either online or by phone. They can also be made via a paper BOR9011 declaration submitted to Border Force officials at a Red Channel/Point, if one exists at the GB port of entry.

Post and Parcels

From 1 January 2020 the customs declaration requirements currently in place for the movement of goods by post and parcel between the UK and RoW countries will apply to movement between GB and the EU.

For postal consignments imported into GB by the Royal Mail Group (RMG) – the UK’s designated universal postal service provider – the use of the CN22/CN23 customs forms will apply for non- controlled goods not exceeding £900 in value. For all other postal movements, a standard electronic customs declaration will need to be submitted to HMRC. Items of correspondence (letters, postcards and braille letters) can be imported through a declaration by conduct.

For goods moved into GB by parcel operators (other than the RMG) a standard electronic customs declaration will need to be submitted to HMRC, unless the parcel operator is authorised to submit a bulked customs declaration.

However, between 1 January and 1 July 2021 both RMG and parcel operators will be able to make a deferred declaration for non-controlled goods (assuming the operator meets the eligibility requirements).

Importing through locations with Customs Control Systems

This is a visualisation of the core Stage 1 import process through border locations with an existing customs control system. This is likely to be the case at border locations which already handle goods from the RoW.

Importing through locations with no Customs Control System

This is a visualisation of the core Stage 1 import process through border locations without an existing customs control system. This is likely to be for border locations which only handle goods from the EU.

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