Apply to use simplified declarations for imports


Last updated 5 January 2021

You can make a simplified declaration before you export your goods. This is called ‘presenting’ your goods to customs.

The first part of your declaration does not need as much information as a full declaration.

When it’s approved, you can export your goods or move them from your premises.

You’ll still need to give customs more information, but you send it later in a supplementary declaration.

You need to do this within 14 days of your goods departing the UK.

You cannot make simplified declarations for goods:

  • covered by the Common Agricultural Policy
  • subject to export licensing (exceptions apply)
  • subject to excise duty (exceptions apply)
  • that require a full customs declaration

Simplified declarations cannot be used if goods are entered into a special procedure using authorisation by declaration.

Some controlled goods can be exported using simplified procedures, but you’ll need to include extra information in your declaration.

Find out about other declarations you can make.

Types of declarations

You can use 2 types of simplified declaration:

  • simplified declaration procedure
  • entry in the declarant’s records

Simplified declaration procedure

The first part of this declaration is where you submit basic details of your export to customs.

In most cases, you submit this electronically using the National Export System.

You will need to present your goods and declaration at a port or airport. Simplified declaration procedures can also be presented at a designated export place. A designated export place is an inland location approved by customs.

When your goods are cleared, you can usually then load and ship them without needing to present any supporting documents.

Supporting documents may be needed for some controlled goods which are prohibited or restricted.

You’ll still need to give customs more information, but you send it later in a supplementary declaration.

Find out how to submit pre-shipment advice.

Entry in the declarant’s records

Your goods must be directly exported from the UK but you can clear your goods by entering information about your goods in your own records.

You can do this when your goods are on your own premises. This type of submission can only be used for goods that do not need a pre-departure declaration.

You cannot clear excise goods or goods that need a licence by entering their details in your records.

You’ll still need to give customs more information, but you send it later in a supplementary declaration.

Find out how to make an export declaration in your own records.

What you’ll need

To use simplified declarations for exports, you’ll need to:

Who can apply

Authorisation conditions are different for the simplified declaration procedure and entry in the declarant’s records.

Simplified declaration procedure

To become authorised to use the simplified declaration procedure, you need to:

  • have a good customs compliance record, including VAT returns and duty deferments
  • have a regular pattern of customs declarations against your Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number
  • show how you’ll record all declarations for no less than four years after their submission date

Entry in the declarant’s records

You have to meet the same conditions that apply for the simplified declaration procedure.

You must also show that:

  • you manage your business in a way that allows customs to make effective compliance checks – for example, how you maintain the audit trail, how your business records are backed up and kept secure and how you identify and handle errors related to the flow of goods and use of customs agents
  • you have procedures in place to ensure you do not export prohibited goods or goods subject to a licence
  • have no record of serious criminal offences related to your business activities

Your compliance record will be based on the last three years before you apply. During that period you should not have committed a serious infringement or repeated infringements of customs rules.

You’ll also need to allow customs to audit your system, providing staff with access to a suitable office, a toilet and car parking, free of charge, if requested. This is for either simplified declaration procedures or entry in your records applications.

How to apply

You need to complete form C&E48 to apply for authorisation to use simplified declarations for exports.

Send your completed form to the Authorisations and Return Team at the following address:

Authorisations and Returns Team
Trinity Bridge House
2 Dearmans Place
M3 5BS

If you’re a large business, send the form to your Customer Compliance Manager (CCM).

If you’re applying for entry into the declarant’s records under the Express of Industries Memorandum of understanding, check if you need approval for fast parcel operators exporting under a memorandum of understanding.

HMRC will visit your premises to check your records and computer systems.

Once you’re authorised, your systems and records will be periodically audited by customs staff to check that you’re complying with the terms and conditions of your authorisation.