Making an import declaration in your records


Last updated 19 April 2024

You should check if you need to declare goods you bring into or take out of the UK before you make an entry in your records.

You can declare your goods by entering them in your own records, and sending other details to customs, if you:

There’s different guidance if you are making an import declaration in your records without authorisation.

How to make an entry in your records

You can declare your goods in your records using EIDR, unless they are:

  • controlled goods imported at the frontier (for goods imported into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) from Ireland, there is a different list of controlled goods)
  • hydrocarbon oils
  • imported under Admission Temporaire or Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet procedures
  • imported under authorisation by declaration
  • personal effects
  • imported under transfer of residence relief
  • agricultural policy goods
  • excise goods
  • unmanufactured tobacco, not stemmed or stripped
  • unmanufactured tobacco, partly or wholly stemmed or stripped
  • tobacco refuse

What to include

When you enter details of your goods into your records, you’ll need to include:

  • the commodity code
  • the customs procedure code
  • your declaration unique consignment reference — which is the main reference number that links declarations
  • purchase and, if available, the sales invoice numbers
  • the date and time of entry in records — creating the tax point, which is used for working out VAT payments later
  • any free zone, customs warehousing, or temporary storage stock account references
  • the free zone, customs warehouse, or temporary storage authorisation number

You’ll also need to include:

  • a written description of the goods — so they’re easy to identify
  • customs value
  • quantity of goods — for example, number of packages and items, net mass
  • details of licensing requirements and licence numbers
  • details of any supporting documents, including the serial numbers, where appropriate, needed before the goods can be released
  • details of the person you’re representing if you are making a declaration on behalf of someone else

The next step depends whether your goods are imported to inventory-linked locations, or locations that are not inventory-linked.

Inventory-linked locations are linked to customs by computer.

Locations that are not inventory-linked, are not linked to customs by computer.

Inventory-linked premises

When you enter your goods in your records, you’ll also need to complete declaration form C21. This will allow the goods to be cleared from the inventory-linked location where they entered.

The information you provide in the form is similar to the entry you make in your own records.

After you’ve made an entry in your records

You’ll need to complete a supplementary declaration.

You must submit your supplementary declaration no later than the 10th calendar day of the month after the month in which you entered the goods in your records.

For example, if you entered the goods in your records in January, you must submit your supplementary declaration by 10 February.

If you’ve completed form C21, you must use the date that customs accept your declaration as the tax point in your supplementary declaration. This should be the same date that you entered the goods in your records.