Frequently Asked Questions

What changes for importers of EU goods from January 2021?

From the start of next year any business wishing to import goods from the remaining EU will be required to submit an import declaration to HMRC. Postponed VAT accounting is also being introduced, giving importers an option to just pay import duties on arrival. Avocet can undertake this work as your appointed agent and we are currently on-boarding clients for 2021.

What changes for exporters of EU goods from January 2021?

From the start of next year any business wishing to export goods from the UK to the remaining EU will be required to submit an export declaration to HMRC. Avocet can undertake this work as your appointed agent and we are currently on-boarding clients for 2021

Do I have to make an import declaration from January for goods coming from the EU?

The government recently announced in their UK Border Operation Model that importers will be able to defer their import entries made between January and June 2021 for 6 months using an Entry In Declarants Records (EIDR) model. In order to take advantage of this easement, which will give importers more time to prepare for making import entries on EU movements at the time of arrival from July 2021 onwards, either the importer or the agent must hold a CFSP authorisation.

Avocet Clearance have applied for CFSP to ensure our clients can defer their import entries if they choose to, and we can create the EIDR record required on your behalf. Alternatively, full declarations can still be made on arrival from 1st January 2021. This easement excludes controlled goods such as excise products. For more information please contact one of clearance specialists

I don’t know what information I need to provide to make an import / Export declaration?

Avocet can advise on exactly what information you will need to provide. In general we require the following:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Bill of lading / AWB / CMR
  • Preference certificate (if applicable)
  • Other certificates (when applicable)
  • Clearance instructions (confirming tariff code, valuation information and customs procedure)

Making an accurate declaration is key to a smooth customs clearance. Achieving excellence in customs compliance is the number one priority at Avocet and we manage the entire process on your behalf.

Will I have to pay customs duty and VAT on my EU imported goods from January 2021?

Quite possibly, depending on the product/ commodity being imported and progress on the proposed Free Trade Agreement between the UK and the EU. Avocet can assist with matching your goods with the UKs new Global Tariff in order to determine if there is duty and VAT applicable.

If your goods are subject to import VAT and customs duty these payments can be deferred using what’s called ‘Entry in Declarants Records’ (EIDR). The purpose of this record is to enable a supplementary declaration to be submitted to HMRC within 6 months of the import date, at which point and applicable duty and VAT would need to be paid to HMRC.

What determines the cost of an Import / Export Declaration?

Avocet have standard charges for each type of customs entry. Some movements also require additional declarations so it depends on the goods themselves, for example goods of an animal origin & high risk food/ feed shipments, HMRC require importers to submit a port health pre-notification.  We believe our charges are competitive, and include benefits such as compliance reviews which not many agents offer as part of their package. Please contact Avocet to discuss the cost of importing or exporting your particular goods.

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    Claire Dalton
    customs supervisor

    Claire is experienced in completing entries and now helps onboard new clients and manages CHIEF entry testing and setup. Claire also manages our AEO compliant procedures and is responsible for regular entry auditing within our customs software, with a focus on maintaining high compliance levels and therefore reducing client risk.

    Emma Long
    customs entry specialist

    Emma brings a wealth of analytical thinking to her role, having just completed a masters degree. She has rapidly built up an excellent understanding of UK import and export customs declarations and systems and also assists with our clients quarterly audit reviews with a view to reporting on potential savings opportunities such as warehousing and IP.


    James has 20 years experience working with UK import and export customs declarations across all areas of the tariff. An expert in classification, origin and valuation with a background in commercial importing James brings a comprehensive knowledge in completing accurate customs declarations and enabling smooth custom clearances with HMRC.