European goods arriving in GB without an import declaration
Since 1st January 2021 and following the UK’s departure from the European Union, UK government introduced their planned easements on import customs declarations, for European shipments arriving in the UK.
With the threat of severe delays at borders, the easements allowed a smooth transit of goods into the UK, but it also allowed carriers to cross the EU/UK border and deliver directly to UK traders without any import customs formalities taking place and is non-compliant.
HMRC take compliance seriously and have recently released guidance notes here that include key points such as:
▪ It is not legally possible for the importer (or the person dealing with customs matters for them) to put matters right by submitting a retrospective customs declaration. But in order to satisfy their obligation to pay any outstanding liabilities a declaration should be submitted as soon as possible.
▪ HMRC reserves the right to use its discretionary powers to charge penalties depending on the evidence of deliberate or repeated behaviour. Additionally, it will not, by itself, cause HMRC to cancel an authorisation to use simplified declarations for imports or, stop any application for such an authorisation.
▪ If goods have been imported non-compliantly, a full import declaration must be submitted within one calendar month (subject to HMRC conditions as set out in their guidance notes) of the goods being imported into GB. If you are already in this situation at the time of the publication (7th July 2021) you have one calendar month from the date the guidance was issued.
We are aware that HMRC are writing directly to VAT registered traders regarding the importance of customs entry compliance. Whilst this content may raise alarm bells, we are pleased to reassure clients using our scheduled groupage services from the EU to UK, that shipments on these services will have transited one of our customs approved facilities and will have a HMRC complaint import customs entry completed, prior to you taking delivery of your products.
If you are receiving products through a non-Simarco service and suspect that some of your products have been delivered to you without the correct import customs declaration being made, we strongly recommend that you act now.