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Key Insights into Customs declarations submitted in 2021

In 2021, a total of 78.3m customs declarations was submitted to HMRC for importing and exporting goods into and out of the UK. Out of which 58.0m were import declarations and 20.3m for export declarations. 

Factors that impacted the number of Customs declarations in 2021: 

  1. Temporary Staged Customs Controls were implemented in 2021, giving GB importers of non-controlled EU goods the chance to postpone submitting the full customs declaration for up to 175 days following the transit of goods. This had a decreasing impact on the volume of customs declarations received for imports from the EU in 2021, especially in the first few months of the year.

  2. The year 2021 saw a distinct combination of factors continuing to affect international trade. Changes in the trading relationship with Europe as well as COVID-19 lockdowns in the UK and many of our foreign trading partners are just a few of them. It is impossible to determine the individual effects of each of these factors on the volume of customs declarations in 2021.

  3. Authorised declarants now have the opportunity to combine many low-value consignments into a single customs declaration thanks to the introduction of the BIRD facility. As a result, fewer customs declarations will have been submitted for all imports in 2021.

  4. Customs declarations for goods exiting a Customs Warehouse do not contain data for the original port of entry which make up many submitted import declarations. This inconsistency in the data could also result in impacting the number of customs declarations submitted in 2021.

Did you know that out of 78.3m Customs declarations only 19.6m declarations were self-declarations? This means only 25% of the total custom declarations are made by the importer or exporter themselves.

Whereas 58.5m customs declarations were declared by a third party (as either direct or indirect representation). Direct representation occurs when a third-party declarant business submits a customs declaration on behalf of and in the name of the importer or exporter. In order to function as the direct representative, the third party must have written authorisation to do so.

Furthermore, indirect representation means that a third declarant company submits a customs declaration on behalf of the importer or exporter while acting in their own name. In this situation, both parties accept shared obligations for any information submitted. 

With a platform like tradePhlo, it has become smooth and easier to complete and submit customs declarations for importers and exporters.  Today, a trader can directly use a customs declaration software like tradePhlo which lets you complete a customs declaration starting at £7 per declaration and in just 10 – 15 minutes. Hence, it is safe to say that if traders wish to make the best out of this shift from CHIEF to CDS, they should take the right step now!


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