In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, from 11pm GMT on 29 March 2019, UK businesses will need to apply the same processes when trading with the EU trade that already apply when trading with the rest of the world.
The actions set out in this guidance do not apply to importing or exporting goods between Northern Ireland-Ireland.
Roll on roll off locations are ports like Dover or the Channel Tunnel where traders use vehicles to drive onto ferries or trains to transport goods into or out of the UK.
From 29 March, importers using these locations will have to submit customs declarations and pay any customs duty, excise duty or VAT that’s due. But traders can apply for HMRC’s temporary arrangements to make sure that you can carry on transporting goods and to make customs processes easier for you to complete. HMRC will update this guidance when further details are available.
Importing to the UK from the EU
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal you’ll need to be ready to make customs declarations and follow other customs rules for the goods you import. If you’re importing through a roll on roll off listed location, you cannot complete customs formalities when your goods arrive in the UK, so you’ll need to make your customs declaration before checking your goods onto the ferry or train on the EU side.
The main customs form used in international trade is the Single Administrative Document. You can submit this electronically. Check how to complete a customs declaration. To be as prepared as possible, you’ll need to: get an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) decide whether you want to use a customs agent to process customs declarations for you, or buy software so you can make declarations yourself using CHIEF or Customs Declaration Service systems register in advance to use the transitional simplified procedures which will make customs processes easier make sure you’re ready to send your EORI or master reference number to the haulage company moving your goods
Making customs declarations before your goods leave the EU
There are different ways to make a customs declaration. You should decide which option works best for you, but you’ll need to make your declaration before you check-in.
You can register to use transitional simplified procedures to:
- transport your goods into the UK without having to make a full customs declaration at the port
- make a more detailed declaration later (a supplementary declaration)
- defer paying your duty
Once you’re registered you’ll be able to make either:
- a simplified frontier declaration (an electronic declaration submitted to HMRC)
- an entry in your own records of when the goods are crossing the border
Both of these declarations ask for less information upfront compared to a full customs declaration.
If you’re importing controlled or restricted goods you’ll only be able to use a full declaration or a simplified frontier declaration. Check guidance on other details required for the customs declaration.
You can change your customs declaration up until the point you check-in at the ferry or train at the departure port. You may be asked to confirm that you’ve completed a declaration as part of the terms and conditions when booking your transport or at check-in. You’ll get a unique master reference number when you complete either a full customs declaration or a simplified frontier declaration. You should confirm with your haulage company that you’ve made a customs declaration before departure by giving them either the: master reference number (to show you’ve made a full or simplified frontier customs declaration) your EORI number if you’ve made an entry in your own records
We may ask your haulier to show the master reference number or your EORI number to prove a declaration is in place.
When your goods arrive in the UK For a temporary period, HMRC will allow most goods moving from the listed roll on roll off locations to leave the UK port or train station before you’ve told us that the goods have arrived. If you’ve submitted either a full declaration or a simplified frontier declaration, you must tell us as soon as possible when the goods arrive in the UK. You tell us the goods have arrived by updating your declaration using your software application, or your agent can do this for you. You must do this no later than the end of the working day after the goods’ arrival in the UK. If you’ve used an entry in your records, you must update your records to show the actual time the goods arrived in the UK. But you do not need to tell us about the arrival of the goods at roll on roll off locations.
For both the simplified frontier declaration and entry in your own records, you should submit a supplementary declaration (a more detailed declaration) by the fourth working day of the month after your goods’ arrival in the UK. If you have duties or taxes to pay, HMRC will take your direct debit on the 15th day of the month after the goods arrive in the UK.
Haulage companies - imports
When haulage companies (or someone acting for them) are accompanying goods through the border, for example, the driver accompanying the load on board the ferry, they have a responsibility to submit safety and security information through an Entry Summary Declaration before the goods arrive in the UK. For roll on roll off ports you must submit the declaration at least 2 hours before the goods are due to arrive in the UK. For Eurotunnel you must submit the declaration at least 1 hour before check-in at Coquelles - this is because the UK border is actually crossed in France. As well as submitting an Entry Summary Declaration you should carry either:
- a master reference number to show that you’ve made a full or simplified frontier customs declaration
- the EORI number of the importer if the importer made an entry in their own records
The importer or their customs agent will give these to you.
Ferry operators and the Channel Tunnel operator - imports
If you’re a ferry operator or Channel Tunnel operator you must have reasonable belief that your customers have made the customs declarations. You can do this through your terms and conditions that your customers use when booking their transport. You’ll need to show the booking to HMRC if we ask for it.
For goods that are accompanied by a haulier, they’re responsible for submitting the Entry Summary Declaration (the safety and security declaration) before the goods leave the EU. There’s no obligation for the ferry or Channel Tunnel operator to confirm that this declaration has been submitted.
Where goods are unaccompanied, for example goods on trailers or in containers, the ferry operator is responsible for submitting the Entry Summary Declaration before the goods leave the EU. You must include the trailer or container number on the declaration.
If you’re exporting goods from the UK from a roll on roll off listed location to the EU, you or your customs agent must complete a combined safety and security and customs declaration before the goods get to the departure port. You’ll be able to do this using the National Export System. If you do this yourself, you will need to enter the correct customs duty tariffs. You must include the vehicle registration number of the vehicle you’re using to transport your goods on the declaration. Ask the company that’s exporting your goods (usually a haulier) for the number. You need this so that you can complete the combined export and safety and security declaration in full.
If your goods are being transported unaccompanied on a trailer or in a container you must include the trailer or container number on your declaration. To be prepared you’ll need to: get an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) decide whether you want to use a customs agent to process customs declarations for you, or use the National Export System yourself Once you’ve submitted the combined customs and safety and security declaration HMRC will send you a notification that either: allows you to proceed asks for additional documentation asks you to make sure the haulier or driver transports your goods to a Designated Export Place or authorised premises, so that we can make customs checks before we give you clearance If you’re exporting high risk goods, you must give HMRC a full departure message so that we can complete the export and account for any duty refund or discharge any liability. You can do this by either: submitting online forms to HMRC along with evidence of export arranging for an appropriate third party intermediary to update HMRC IT systems.