What Is Customs Entry | UK Imports & Exports

25 July 2022
by Pro Carrier


A customs entry is an import declaration made to obtain customs clearance. It can take several forms, requires a significant amount of information and is legally binding. In other words, it’s important to get it right.

In this article, we’ll clarify exactly what a Customs Entry is, when you need one, what goes on one and who can make them. We’ll also show you how Pro Carrier can help simplify the customs clearance process.

What is a Customs Entry and When is it Required?

A Customs Entry (also known as a Customs Declaration) is a statement of information sent to the National Clearance Hub, a part of HMRC. It is required every time you import goods into the UK or export them abroad.

A customs entry can take three forms:

  • Standard Export Procedure: a standard form for both indirect and direct exports submitted electronically to CHIEF
  • Simplified Declaration Procedure: can only be submitted by an authorised trader but requires significantly less information.
  • Local Clearance Procedure: allows for goods to be stored in an inland premise ahead of export.

What Goes On a Customs Entry?

What goes on a Customs Entry will depend on the form it takes, but it will usually require the following information:

  • The name and address of the importer or exporter
  • The EORI number
  • The destination and origin of goods
  • A commodity code and the value of the goods
  • A description of the goods
  • The mode of transport
  • Details of other costs (transport, insurance, etc.)

Who Can Make a Customs Entry?

All Customs Entry declarations must be submitted to HMRC’s computer system, CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight). Anyone can make a customs declaration, but if you submit customs entries yourself, you will have to purchase or download software to integrate with CHIEF.

That’s why most freight forwarders or customs brokers will submit the documents on your behalf on a direct representative basis. This means you remain liable for the information on the forms.

Ideally, your chosen partner will also be an Authorised Economic Operator. By receiving an AEO certificate from HMRC, logistics companies typically reduce the number of control checks carried out on goods they are responsible for. Goods from an AEO logistics company are usually prioritised, too.

What Happens If I Don’t Submit a Customs Entry?

Submitting a factually accurate Customs Entry in a timely manner is an essential part of the customs clearance process. If you or your freight forwarder fail to complete an entry form, you can expect your goods to experience significant delays and additional charges.

Seamless Customs Entry With Pro Carrier

As an Authorised Economic Operator, Pro Carrier can take advantage of the streamlined processes afforded to us by HMRC. Our clients know that any and all Customs Entry forms are taken care of two weeks prior to departure or arrival so that goods sit in port for as little time as possible. Speak to one of our consultants for more information about our customs processes or start building a bespoke quote today.

If you are you looking for a partnership that focuses on quality rather than quantity? Talk to someone direct.

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