Using and submitting Supplementary Declarations

What are Supplementary Declarations and when do you use them?


Intrastat Supplementary Declarations (SDs) are used to gather information that provides statistics for movements of goods within the European Union (EU).

Import and export SDs are used for trading outside the EU. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) also use simplified import and export SDs to process the financial aspects of customs procedures. This page explains when you need to complete a Supplementary Declaration and which one you should use. It also outlines the ways you can submit declarations so you can choose the most efficient way for your business.


VAT-registered businesses that trade goods within the EU over the current threshold must submit an Intrastat declaration each month.

If your business exceeds the threshold for Arrivals of goods (purchases) but not for Dispatches (sales), you only have to complete SDs for Arrivals. If your Dispatches exceed the threshold, you only have to include Dispatches on your SD. If both Arrivals and Dispatches exceed the threshold, you must submit one SD for each. Intrastat thresholds are reviewed annually. The current thresholds are £1.5 million for Arrivals and £250,000 for Dispatches.

Once you have reached either threshold, you must submit SDs until the end of the year. You only have to submit SDs the following year if your trade for the calendar year just ending exceeds the new threshold. The threshold is reviewed annually.

See Intrastat - reporting the value and volume of intra-EU trade.

Find instructions on how to complete your Intrastat Supplementary Declaration.

If your business goes through a period where you have no EU trade, you do not have to submit a 'nil' return, but it will help you avoid unnecessary queries if you do submit a nil return. Find further information on how to complete the Intrastat return and EC sales list.

Supplementary Declarations for import

When you import goods from outside the EU, you are required to submit an SD so customs can work out how much you owe them. You must submit a summary or simplified declaration when the goods arrive in the UK followed by a supplementary or full declaration after a specified period of time.

Traders may use SDs within Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) so customs can determine how much duty and tax is payable, read more about CFSP in GOV.UK notice 760.

Supplementary Declarations for export

All goods exported from the UK to non-EU member states must be declared to customs. Customs officers use export declarations to support the monthly balance of trade figures and calculate export refunds for schemes such as Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). VAT can be zero-rated for exports to a third country (including EFTA states and the special territories of the EU). Export declarations are also used to check restricted goods and to make sure that EU requirements are met. Agricultural traders must complete a full export declaration for all CAP exports, regardless of destination.

Export declarations must be fully completed unless you are authorised to operate under National Export System (NES) simplified procedures. NES simplified procedures allow for the submission of abbreviated export declarations prior to shipment, followed by SDs after the goods have left the UK. See export declarations and the National Export System.

How does an SD fit into the process of making an import or export?

Several customs processes take place before and after traders submit an SD. For import and export, the order is:

  • application and authorisation (simplified import/export procedures)
  • Simplified Frontier Declaration
  • Supplementary Declaration
  • post-clearance audit

Find out about related customs processes and how to value your imports for customs duty and trade statistics.