Customs clearance is the process of legally and properly declaring and processing imported or exported goods with the relevant authorities in the United Kingdom (UK). The process is essential for ensuring compliance with UK customs laws and regulations and to facilitate the smooth movement of goods across international borders.
In the UK, the primary agency responsible for customs clearance is the HMRC. Importers and exporters must submit customs declarations for their goods, which include details such as the value, quantity, and nature of the goods being shipped. The declarations are submitted electronically via the UK government’s Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CDS) system.
The customs clearance process begins with the submission of the declaration, which is then reviewed by the HMRC. If the declaration is deemed to be complete and accurate, the goods are cleared for import or export. If there are any issues with the declaration, it will be flagged for further review and the importer or exporter may be required to provide additional information or documentation.
It is important to note that some goods are subject to additional clearance requirements, such as those that are restricted or prohibited, or those that are subject to tariffs or other taxes. Importers and exporters must ensure that they are familiar with all relevant laws and regulations and that they are compliant with them before submitting a declaration.
For businesses that frequently import or export goods, it is recommended that they consider hiring a customs broker such as Smart Brokerage to assist with the customs clearance process. These professionals have the knowledge and experience to ensure that declarations are accurate and that goods are cleared through customs in a timely manner.
Smart Brokerage offers full 24/7 customs brokerage & clearance services. Smart Brokerage is located 15 minutes from the Port of Dover, 7 minutes from Eurotunnel and 10 minutes from Sevington & Waterbrook inland clearance centres. Some of the benefits of working with Smart Brokerage include but not limited to:
- They are not just limited to the Ports of Dover and Eurotunnel, they have the necessary badges for the whole of the UK including inland ETSF clearance centres.
- They have direct software links to HMRC customs (CDS) system.
- They can arrange completion of import or export declarations and NCTS/T1 shipments arriving or departing any Port in the UK.
- They can offer import and export customs clearance for those who use GVMS; those clearing within a port environment or for those utilising any of the customs inland border facilities.
- They have extensive knowledge of customs clearance procedures, coupled with our 24/7 presence, allows them to provide a comprehensive range of services to the benefit of importers, exporters and freight forwarders alike.
- They clear goods for some of the top brands in the world, which in itself is a credit to their professional services.
In conclusion, customs clearance is a necessary process for legally and properly declaring and processing imported or exported goods in the UK. The HMRC is the primary agency responsible for customs clearance, and importers and exporters must submit customs declarations for their goods via the CDS system. To ensure a smooth process, it is important for businesses to be familiar with relevant laws and regulations and to consider hiring a customs broker or freight forwarder for assistance.