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Hiring customs agents

Hiring customs agents

2 May 2024

Customs declarations can be difficult and time consuming to complete. Businesses can make their own custom's declarations; however, this is complex and requires specialist skills and software. Most businesses use a specialist such as a customs

Completing customs declarations can be challenging and time-consuming. While businesses have the option to handle their own customs declarations, it’s a complex process that demands specific skills and software.

Instead, many businesses opt to hire specialists like customs agents, brokers, freight forwarders, or fast parcel operators. These professionals handle the submission of import and export customs declarations. HMRC maintains and regularly updates a list of these specialists who might be able to assist.

This list, known as the register of customs agents and fast parcel operators, has seen recent updates. However, it’s important to remember that HMRC does not vet, approve, or recommend the businesses on these lists. Therefore, businesses should exercise due diligence.

According to HMRC’s guidance, incorrect or missing information, or lack of proper paperwork, can lead to the seizure of your goods. This could also result in delays and additional charges.

For those moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Trader Support Service offers free guidance through the necessary processes. This service is also available to businesses importing goods into Northern Ireland from elsewhere in the world. However, using this service is not mandatory.

In addition to the above, it’s worth noting that the customs declaration process is continually evolving, with changes in regulations and procedures. Staying updated with these changes is crucial for businesses to avoid potential penalties and ensure smooth operations. The role of customs agents and other specialists becomes even more critical in this context, as they are typically well-versed in these changes and can guide businesses accordingly. However, the responsibility ultimately lies with the businesses themselves, emphasizing the need for due diligence and informed decision-making. The Trader Support Service remains a valuable resource, offering free guidance to businesses navigating these processes.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Tue, 30 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0100

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