Many businesses find using third-party service providers a cost-effective and efficient way to deal with customs formalities. You may make savings by avoiding costs for specialist staff and the software required for customs procedures, including Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP).
Freight forwarders, customs agents and brokers may offer CFSP clearance. Freight forwarders, whose principal business is to move goods to be transported from one country to another, also generally provide customs clearance facilities. Customs agents and brokers only handle paperwork at customs points or frontiers for you. Read more about using brokers and forwarders.
If you wish to use a third party service provider for CFSP, they must either be authorised or hold authority to act on your behalf. You should also make sure that you provide them with full and accurate information.
To be authorised to use CFSP, agents will have to show that they meet a range of conditions regarding accounting systems and records, customs compliance and solvency.
Paying duty through a third party
There are three types of representative - self, direct and indirect. The most common, a direct representative, acts in your name but isn't liable for your customs debt. An indirect representative acts in their own name and on your behalf. Indirect representatives are held jointly and severally liable for your customs debt.
To pay your CFSP duty and taxes, you can use your own or your representatives duty deferment account. However, if you use an indirect representative they will have to provide security for your duty and VAT liability for one calendar month unless they are approved for reduced security.
If you are an existing CFSP trader and wish to act as an agent for another trader, you must gain agreement from your customer to use their deferment account. See form C 1207N - Standing Authority for Agents to request Deferment of Duty against Importers Deferment Approval Number. You must then notify your CFSP authorising office. They will amend your authorisation to allow use of your customer's deferment account.