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Imports, Customs Duty and Excise Duty

Customs Duty

Customs duty forms a cost to businesses so we work with clients to make sure they have an appropriate infrastructure in place to manage customs duties appropriately.  This includes advising on the following key aspects:

  • Tariff classification – determining the correct code and obtaining BTIs
  • Origin – advising on controls around Certificates of Origin, origin planning for buyers
  • Valuation – advising on what should be included and excluded from the customs value
  • The use of reliefs including IP, OPR, Temporary Admission, bonded warehouses – to ensure duty is only paid when necessary
  • Calculating Customs Comprehensive Guarantees (CCGs) due under the EU UCC (Union Customs Code) or UK equivalent legislation – to mitigate this cost when customs duty reliefs are in place
  • Deferment accounts – helping businesses apply for their own account rather than paying to use a freight agent’s account
  • Importer of Record – advising on the VAT and duty impact of the business acting as IoR
  • Customs Duty risk management – to ensure compliance with reliefs and help put a framework in place to monitor the accuracy of import entries (C88s) completed by customs agents


We also assist businesses in applying to become an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) and to monitor adherence to the regulations once accreditation is received.  This involves ensuring the business has AEO standard written controls in place for customs duty management and safety and security (if applicable) that are used in practice.

We also assist with customs duty audits and assist businesses to put a control framework in place to manage customs duty risk.  This might include the use of MSS reports which provide a summary of customs activity for the period, enabling the data to be interrogated.

Excise duty

This a high risk tax for HMRC and therefore the controls around the tax can be fairly onerous, with clear audit trails and monitoring being of paramount importance.  We can advise on suitable mechanisms to manage this risk and also have experience of duty management systems that support this.

Recent projects include the following:
  • Quarterly reporting to HMRC on adherence to AEO standards (major airline)
  • Review of current supply chain to ensure use of customs duties is being maximised (automotive sector)
  • Management of IP relief authorisations and filing of periodic returns (numerous major airlines)
  • Advising on appropriate infrastructure to manage excise duty liabilities (outsourced service provider to airline industry)

Julie Park

Managing Director
– VAT and Customs Duty
M: +44 781 400 4236
T: +44 203 2806902