Brexit has meant a few changes to how goods are imported and exported between the UK and Scandinavia. As the United Kingdom has now left the EU Customs Union (which includes EU members Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, together with EEA member Norway), you'll now need to supply a Customs Declaration with every Scandinavian-bound shipment you send.
What Is A Customs Declaration?
A Customs Declaration (also known as an export entry, or EAD) is a written legal guarantee that lists the products you're shipping, their destination, their volume, and their identifying HS code. Declarations help tax and customs officials to calculate owed duties, VAT rates, and monitor unsafe, prohibited, or restricted items (e.g. fuel, perishable goods, and medication). Before 1st Jan 2021, customs declarations were already required for all exports outside the EU, so most shipping operators will already be familiar with them and can ensure you get the details right.
What Isn't A Customs Declaration?
Commercial Invoices, Manifests, Shipping Receipts, and Certificates of Origin and Quality (CoCs) DO NOT count as a Customs Declaration. Although all are needed to proceed, they're technically part of a customs transfer or entry declaration. Failure to supply an independent declaration alongside all other relevant paperwork may result in your goods being impounded, seized, or returned.
When Do I Need To Supply A Customs Declaration?
A full customs declaration needs to be present 'on-the-day' at the border for each shipment. All shipments also need a manifest and invoice attached for safety, security, and tax calculation.
How Long Do I Have To Present My Documents?
For imports from Scandinavian countries to the UK, the law requires that copies of all 'driven' documents are supplied to customs officials no later than one hour before the transfer. Up to two hours are available before and after sea and rail loading/unloading. Some countries allow you to send in deferred customs declarations after the fact (i.e. post-transfer), but this doesn’t apply to transactions between the UK and the EU.
How Do I Formally Declare UK/EU Customs?
For the formal declaration, you'll need the below information:
- Express purpose of goods
- All goods in the shipment with their HS (quick reference) codes
- The volume of goods per item (in kilograms and pieces)
- Estimated market value of goods plus currency
- Country of origin for goods along with a declaration if of preferential origin
- Full contact details for both importer and exporter including EORI numbers
- Final destination of goods
- VAT and DAN codes (if applicable)
- Any restrictions you know about (e.g. Fire hazard warnings)
- Your name and signature
You will need to supply this information on the invoice & packing list, along with applicable goods-linked HS Codes. Use an online index to find out which ones you'll need or have a chat with us if you’re unsure.
Shipping Admin And Customs Help From NTEX
At NTEX, we specialise in UK to Scandinavian shipping for all commercial and industrial goods, using our paperwork and regulations expertise to make things easy and efficient for our clients. Talk to us today to learn more.
Image Source: Pixabay