Goods arriving in Great Britain without an import declaration

Goods arriving in Great Britain without an import declaration

Please note: this article was published on 9th July 2021, the information below may now be out of date. For the latest information, visit

HMRC has published guidance on what to do when goods arrive in GB without an import declaration. 

With import declarations you have until midnight the following working day to arrive an import entry once the goods cross the border and arrive in the UK. For example, if the goods arrive on a Thursday we would have until midnight on Friday to arrive the entry. If, however the goods arrived on a Friday we would have until midnight on the Monday to arrive the goods.

Please be aware this is when the goods physically cross the border and arrive in the UK rather than when the goods arrive at the delivery destination.

With goods currently not being stopped coming in from the EU, situations have occurred where UK businesses have received the goods before they have had the opportunity to declare and complete the import customs clearance.

Where goods have been imported without an import customs declaration completed this is deemed to be non-compliant and civil penalties could be charged where HMRC consider appropriate.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to submit a retrospective declaration, but in order to fulfil the obligation to pay any outstanding charges there are two options available.

1. Submit a full import declaration within 1 month of the import.

2. Submit a supplementary declaration.

Option 1 is preferred but where not possible (e.g., too late) Option 2 must be used. To use option 2 this would mean onboarding for CFSP.

Please also note since these declarations are non-compliant, Post VAT Accounting cannot be used. In this case you must use deferment account or FAS for the payment of the VAT.

The full details on the article published by HMRC can be found here.

This notice was officially released on the 7th July 2021, it has been advised HMRC will accept full declarations for anything imported since 1st Jan 2021 until 6th Aug 2021.

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