Yesterday (15 March 2023), the Government announced its Spring Budget 2023, which included some long awaited changes to the current Customs regime (“Customs Package“). Broadly, the announcements capture improvements following the Government’s 2022 Call for Evidence on an independent Customs regime. Many of the changes have been anticipated by businesses (such as the Advance Valuation Rulings mechanism which we have blogged about separately today as well). A summary of these changes is set out below:
Simplified Customs Declaration Process (“SCDP”) improvements:
- Allowing for one aggregate supplementary declaration to be submitted for goods imported over the course of a month, reducing the total number of declarations that have to be submitted.
- Modest increase in the amount of time allowed for the submission of supplementary declarations (from the fourth working day to the 10th calendar day of the month) and final supplementary declarations (from the fourth working day to the 11th calendar day of the month) for imports and exports (in the case of exports where it relates to more than one consignment of goods).
Transit simplifications improvements:
- Planned measures to simplify inbound and outbound transit facilitation and proposals are under development based on user feedback. These will include modernising processes for authorised consignees (inbound) and reducing costs for authorised consignors by making a 100% guarantee waiver the default position during the authorisation process (outbound).
- Informal engagement with industry on these proposals will take place in Summer 2023.
- Streamlining and digitisation of customs and excise authorisation processes. A new self-serve portal will allow businesses to apply for and manage authorisations.
- The existing 42 different authorisations will be divided into 5 new authorisation groups: Authorised Economic Operator (AEO), Fiscal, Simplifications and Declarations, Transit, and Ports and Wharves. An Excise group will be added. Under the new system, traders will only have to make a single application to access all the facilitations within the group.
- Informal engagement with industry for the next phase of this project starts in March and delivery is targeted for the second half of 2023.
Changes Further in the Future
Changes to Customs Guarantees for Special Procedures, Temporary Storage and Duty Deferment
- The Government is considering potential changes to enable more traders to be authorised to use certain customs facilitations without a financial guarantee, in a move designed to benefit SMEs.
Review on Simplifying Customs Declarations Requirements
- The Government is reviewing the customs declaration requirements to assess the scope for simplification of both simplified and standard declarations for imports and exports, with a particular focus on export declarations and minimising the burden on small businesses.
If you’re interested in receiving updates on the implementation of these measures please get in touch with a member of the team.