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Aiming “to simplify customs import and export processes for businesses”, Jeremy Hunt revealed the following GB customs changes in yesterday’s Spring Budget 2023 announcement:

Simplifying customs declarations

This will occur in two stages. 

  1. Simplifying customs declaration requirements

The government will be reviewing the information that is required of businesses when making their customs declarations. 

The review, which will take place later this year, provides an opportunity for the government to see where simplifications to the information required of businesses can be made, and will cover both import and export declarations, with a proposed focus on exports. 

According to their official announcement, a primary focus here is to ensure “that customs declarations do not impose disproportionate burdens on small and less experienced UK businesses.”

  1. Improving customs declaration processes

Responding to the results of the 2022 Call for Evidence: An Independent Customs Regime, the government also announced a number of future improvements to the Simplified Customs Declaration Process (SCDP). 

These amendments include lengthening the deadline for supplementary declaration submissions, giving exporters (with more than one consignment of goods) and importers more time to submit their declarations. The new deadline will move from the 4th working day of the month to the 10th calendar day.

Higher standards for customs intermediaries

Unfortunately, not all customs brokers have our track record for exemplary customer service. (Just read our reviews!!)  

To promote a higher standard for customs intermediaries across the board, the government will be introducing a new, voluntary standard and will be consulting on this in Summer of 2023. 

Simplifying and digitising processes

To streamline inbound and outbound transit procedures, the government has proposed several changes, including digitising the current paper-based approval process and modernising the unloading process. 

But it isn’t just transit procedures that the government is aiming to make more efficient. 

The new “Modernising Authorizations” project will improve HMRC’s offer to traders by simplifying (and digitising) the government’s customs and excise authorisation processes. 

“There are currently 42 different customs authorisations which will be divided into 5 new authorisation groups: Authorised Economic Operator (AEO), Fiscal, Simplifications and Declarations, Transit, and Ports and Wharves. Excise authorisations will form another group. Traders will only have to make a single application to access all the facilitations within the group.”

Lowering the entrypoint for customs guarantees

By allowing more traders to be authorised to use customs facilitations such as Special Procedures, Duty Deferment and Temporary Storage, without a financial guarantee, more businesses can reap the benefits of reducing their overall costs. 

While the government’s announcement brings enormous possibilities, many of the above changes will still need to be discussed further, and their implementation must still be discussed and decided upon. We will keep you updated as we learn more. 

Read the full UK Gov press release here.