What is the Customs Declaration Service (CDS)?

The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is a sophisticated electronic system employed by customs authorities to handle the import and export declarations of goods entering or leaving a country. It replaces the previous system, Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), with enhanced functionalities and better integration capabilities.

What are the benefits of using the Customs Declaration Service?

Using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) offers several advantages over traditional methods:

  1. It facilitates faster processing times for customs declarations, reducing delays and expediting the movement of goods.
  2. CDS improves data accuracy, minimising errors that could lead to complications during customs clearance.
  3. The system provides enhanced visibility and control over shipments, enabling better tracking and monitoring of goods throughout the import/export process.
  4. CDS reduces paperwork by digitising customs procedures, making it more efficient and environmentally friendly.
  5. The system is designed to integrate seamlessly with other trade-related systems, streamlining the overall customs process.
What information do I need to provide to CCE’s customs clearance agents in the UK to process my shipment?

To ensure smooth customs clearance, you need to provide our customs clearance agents in the UK with comprehensive information about your shipment. This includes details about the nature and value of the goods being imported or exported, their country of origin, shipping documentation such as bills of lading or airway bills, commercial invoices with accurate product descriptions and values, and any other relevant information necessary for customs authorities to assess the import/export process accurately.

What information is required to make a customs declaration through CDS?

When making a customs declaration through the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), you must provide essential details about your shipment. This includes specific information about the goods being imported or exported, such as their description, classification (using the appropriate Harmonised System code), and value. Additionally, you need to mention the country of origin, the customs procedure codes for the shipment and provide any relevant commercial documentation to support the declaration.

Who can make a customs declaration?

Any individual authorised by their business can make a customs declaration. However, it’s essential to note that only businesses based in a country can lodge a declaration there. For instance, a French company cannot directly submit a customs declaration to GB Customs if they don’t have a British subsidiary or entity acting as a legal representative in Britain.

Do I have to obtain clearance before entering the UK, or can I make a customs declaration after crossing the UK border?

To ensure a smooth and timely import/export process, customs clearance is required before the goods arrive at the UK border. Preparing and submitting the customs declaration through the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) or with the help of our agents at Customs Clearance Experts (CCE) should be done well in advance of the shipment’s arrival in the UK. This proactive approach helps prevent costly delays and ensures compliance with customs regulations.

How much does a customs clearance agency charge in the UK?

The charges of a customs clearance agency in the UK can vary depending on several factors. At CCE, we offer competitive prices based on the complexity of the shipment, the volume of goods being imported/exported, the type of goods and the services required.

What is import customs clearance?

Import customs clearance is the process of fulfilling the legal requirements and necessary formalities with customs authorities to permit the entry of goods into a country from a foreign location. It involves providing accurate documents and paying any applicable duties or taxes to gain authorisation for importing the goods.

Why is import customs clearance necessary?

Import customs clearance is crucial to ensure that imported goods comply with all customs regulations, duties, taxes, and import restrictions set by the destination country. It also allows customs authorities to conduct security checks and enforce any relevant laws related to trade, public safety, or national interests.

I am importing goods of animal or plant origin into the UK. Do I need special import customs clearance?

Yes, from July 2022, specific checks and requirements apply to plant and animal products imported into the UK. These goods will be subject to additional phytosanitary or veterinary inspections to prevent the introduction of pests or diseases. Depending on the category of goods, additional documents, such as phytosanitary certificates, may be required to comply with these regulations.

What should I do if there are discrepancies or issues during the import customs clearance process?

If discrepancies or issues arise during the import customs clearance process, it is advised to collaborate closely with our customs agent to resolve them promptly. Prompt action is essential to prevent expensive delays and potential penalties. Our customs clearance agents can assist you in identifying the root cause of the problem and guide you through the steps needed to rectify it. This may involve providing additional documentation, correcting errors in the declaration, or addressing any concerns raised by customs authorities. By promptly addressing discrepancies or issues, you can ensure a smoother import customs clearance process and avoid any potential disruptions to your supply chain or import operations.

What are the additional checks that can delay my cargo?

Various government departments, including the UK Border Force, Plant Health (DEFRA), Trading Standards, and others, have access to cargo information. They may conduct routine checks to prevent illegal items from crossing the ports. These checks may involve physical inspections, document verification, and compliance assessments, which could result in delays in the shipment.

What is export customs clearance?

Export customs clearance refers to the process of completing the necessary documentation and fulfilling legal requirements with customs authorities to enable the lawful export of goods from one country to another. It involves declaring the goods and obtaining clearance for their exportation.

Why is export customs clearance necessary?

Export customs clearance is essential to ensure that goods leaving a country comply with all export regulations, tariffs, and restrictions. It also enables customs authorities to monitor and control the movement of goods across international borders, ensuring compliance with trade laws and maintaining national security.

What documents are required for export customs clearance?

The specific documents required for export customs clearance may vary by country and depend on the nature of the goods being exported. Commonly needed documents include commercial invoices, packing lists detailing the contents of the shipment, bills of lading or airway bills as evidence of transportation, export licences (if applicable for certain controlled goods), and certificates of origin to verify the country of production. Properly prepared and accurate documentation facilitates a smoother export process.