Declarations and the Single Administrative Document

Where to go for help and how to resolve disputes

For support with the Single Administrative Document (SAD), traders can call the helpline run by the HMRC VAT Helpline on Tel 0300 200 3700. You can email The HMRC Tariff Classification Service at and they will help you with classifying your goods, issuing codes, and can issue you with a Binding Tariff Information decision if required.

Your agent or freight forwarder should be able to help you with your initial queries about completing the SAD. Read more about using brokers and forwarders.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can assist you in filling out your Single Administrative Document (SAD) and, if you're unable to calculate the duty that you owe, they'll advise you.

You can also buy a copy of HMRC's Harmonised Single Administrative Document Tariff (version 1.0) from the Stationery Office (TSO). You can order one by contacting TSO Customer Services on Tel 0870 600 5522. You could also email them at

To order, please quote ISBN 978 0 11 703826 4.

Penalties and seizures

Civil penalties apply to errors made by traders on electronic declarations. Although most are innocent mistakes, you may receive a formal letter of warning or fine. Further errors may also incur a larger fine. Separate fines and warnings apply to excise duty. HMRC can also seize your goods. In some circumstances you can ask for them back. You may also complain about your treatment and appeal against any action taken. See customs seizures and penalties.


You have the right to a formal departmental review at HMRC. You may also have the right to ask for a hearing at a Tax and Duties Tribunal. These are based in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. If you are still not satisfied, you can contact the Adjudicator's Office.