Trade imports by post: how to complete customs documents

HMRC Reference:Notice 144 (March 2013) View Change History
 

Contents

Foreword

1. Introduction

1.1 What is this notice about?

1.2 Glossary

2. Import declaration

2.1 What is the law concerning trade imports by post?

2.2 What is a Single Administrative Document (SAD)?

2.3 When is a declaration on a SAD required?

2.4 What form do I use to declare (enter) trade imports by post?

2.5 What do I do when I receive the form?

3. Completion of the Single Administrative Document (SAD)

3.1 Which boxes do I need to complete for postal entries?

4. Additional documents

4.1 What documents do I have to send with the completed SAD?

5. Returning the form

5.1 What do I do when I have completed the SAD?

6. Glossary of terms

If you have a question about Excise or Customs Duty

Your rights and obligations

Do you have any comments or suggestions?

Putting things right

How we use your information

 

Foreword

This notice cancels and replaces Notice 144 (December 2011).

1. Introduction

1.1 What is this notice about?

This notice is intended to give general guidance to postal importers of trade consignments for which a declaration (entry) on a Single Administrative Document (SAD) is required. Further information on the completion of SAD forms is contained in the Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom (the Tariff).

This notice is not the law and does not change the law.

All notices are available online. Go to hmrc.gov.uk and enter the notice number in the search box.

1.2 Glossary

The terms used are explained in the glossary in Section 6 of this Notice.

2. Import declaration

2.1 What is the law concerning trade imports by post?

All goods arriving in the United Kingdom by post from any country outside the European Union (EU) must be declared to us. In most cases this means the sender making a Customs declaration on a form which is attached to the package. However certain goods must be declared on a Single Administrative Document (SAD).

2.2 What is a Single Administrative Document (SAD)?

This is an EU form used to legally declare imported goods to Customs also known as an import entry.

In the UK the SAD is also known as Form C88. The specific version for postal imports is Form C88A.

2.3 When is a declaration on a SAD required?

A full import declaration on a SAD is required for all postal imports exceeding £2,000 declared to home use and free circulation. For imports declared to one of the customs procedures with economic relief, temporary importation, customs warehousing, returned goods relief over £600 and processing under customs control or end-use relief, a full import declaration on a SAD is required where the potential duty liability exceeds 10 Euros (£9).

2.4 What form do I use to declare (enter) trade imports by post?

The SAD for postal imports is form C88A. You must use this when declaring your goods to us. We will send you a copy to complete and return. Another form, C87 Notice of Arrival of Goods by Post also accompanies the SAD. This advises you that the goods have arrived in the UK but cannot be delivered until you complete and return the SAD form. It also gives a Customs reference number associated with your package. Please quote this number if you need to speak to us about your package.

Use one SAD for goods covered by each Commodity code. Additional forms can be obtained by contacting us at the postal depot where your package is being held.

2.5 What do I do when I receive the form?

Each form consists of four pages and are as follows:

Page number


Description


One


Original entry


Two


Statistical Office copy


Three


Consignee copy


Four


Other purposes, for example, VAT, or warehousing


Complete and return all four copies to the Customs postal depot (follow the guidance in section 3 on how to complete the form).

3. Completion of the Single Administrative Document (SAD)

3.1 Which boxes do I need to complete for postal entries?

You need only complete the boxes whose numbers are shown in the table below. The box numbers appear in the top left hand corner of each box on both form C88A and continuation sheets (if required).

Box no.


Box heading


Details to be entered


1


Declaration


In the first subdivision, enter the type of declaration as follows:



   

CO


All the goods being declared are from a Special Territory the EU


   

EU


All the goods are being declared are from an EFTA member state


   

IM


All other goods


   

In the second subdivision, enter the following letter for type of declaration: 'A'


2


Consignor/Exporter


Enter the full name and address of the consignor.


5


Items


Enter in figures the total number of items being declared, including those on any continuation sheet.


6


Total packages


Insert the total number of packages making up the consignment covered by the declaration.


7


Reference


Enter the Border Force reference number on the Notice of Arrival you were sent for this parcel.


8


Consignee


Insert the name, address and (if applicable) EORI number of the consignee (by adding the consignee’s phone number, you allow immediate contact if queries arise).


14


Declarant or Representative


Enter ‘1’ if completing the entry yourself.


Enter ‘2’ if an agent completes the entry on your behalf. (Note: an agent requires written authority to do this, or they are considered acting on their own behalf)


Enter '3' if the declarant is acting as an 'indirect' representative in his/her own name, but on behalf of another person. (Note: in this case both parties are jointly liable for the information declared on the entry.


If 2 or 3 are entered, then the declarants 'identity' is required. Insert the signatory's full name, address, EORI number (if applicable) and phone number.


15A


Country of Dispatch


Enter the country code of dispatch shown in Appendix C1 of the UK Integrated Tariff.


21


Identity and Nationality of the active means of transport crossing the border


Enter ‘International post’.


22


Currency and total amount invoiced


Insert the code of the country in whose currency the goods have been invoiced and the value of the goods in that country: (for example, for 500 Canadian dollars, insert CA 500.00). Use the codes listed in Appendix C1 of Volume 3 of the UK Integrated Tariff.


25


Mode of transport at the border


Insert the code ‘5’ Postal consignment.


30


Location of goods


Enter the appropriate code that identifies the Royal Mail (MPD) or Parcel Force (CIH) depot where the goods are being held as listed in Appendix C3 the UK Integrated Tariff.


31


Packages and descriptions of goods


The goods described in this box must be subject to the same Commodity Code. Insert a description of the goods in sufficient detail to allow them to be identified for both Tariff and statistical purposes.


33


Commodity Code


Insert the appropriate Commodity code (Tariff Heading) listed in Volume 2 of the UK Integrated Tariff, also available online at Trade Tariff. Inserting a code constitutes a declaration which is basic information for the assessment of import charges.


34


Country of Origin


Enter the Country of Origin code as found in Appendix C1 of Volume 3 of the UK Integrated Tariff.


36


Preference


If no claim to preference is made, enter the following three numbers: '100'


If you are making a claim to preference, enter one of the codes shown in Volume 3 Part 3 of the UK Integrated Tariff.


37


Customs Procedure Code


A Customs Procedure Code (CPC) is a seven-digit code used to declare the nature/purpose of the importation. Enter the first four digits in the first sub division and the last three digits in the second sub division. A full list of the CPCs and their conditions of use are contained in Appendix E2 of the UK Integrated Tariff. If you are unsure which code to use, phone the Customs Helpline 0300 200 3700.


38


Net Mass


Enter the Net Mass in kilograms.


39


Quota


When a reduced or nil rate of Customs duty is claimed against a Tariff quota, enter the relevant serial number listed in Volume 2 of the UK Integrated Tariff. At the top of all copies of the declaration write ‘TARIFF QUOTA’ in red ink.


40


Summary Declaration/Previous Document


If box1 has 'CO' entered, enter the following three alphanumeric characters: 'T2M'


If box1 has IM entered, enter the following four letters: 'ZZZZ'


42


Item Price


This must show the invoice price of the goods described in box 31, but the amount entered here must be in the foreign currency shown in box 22.


44


Additional Information, Statement and Document codes


Insert any Additional Information/Statement code required. See Appendix C11/C12 as appropriate in Volume 3 of the UK Integrated Tariff.


45


Adjustment


Enter the letter 'B' in the first subdivision and '0.00' in the second subdivision.


46


Statistical value


Insert the sterling value of the goods described in box 31.


47


Calculation of taxes


Complete the following tax lines.


 

Type


Enter the appropriate code from Appendix C6 of Volume 3 of the UK Integrated Tariff.


 

Tax base


The quantity or value on which the tax or duty is to be calculated.


 

Rate


The rate of tax or duty to be applied. Use the codes as listed in Volume 3, Part 3 of the UK Integrated Tariff followed by a declaration of the actual amount.


 

Amount


The actual or potential amount of duty and VAT payable.


 

Method of payment


Enter ‘A’ for immediate payment or ‘F’ for deferred payment. For all other methods of payment see Volume 3, Part 3 of the UK Integrated Tariff.


48


Deferred payment


If deferment of customs charges is requested, insert the appropriate deferment approval number (DAN) allocated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the correct payment code prefix among the following:


   

A - declarant’s account


(or account belonging to the trader identified by 'No' in box 14)


   

B - consignee’s account, specific authority


If you do not have standing authority (see ‘C’ below) you must provide with the entry, written authorisation from the consignee to use their deferment account.


   

C - consignee’s standing authority agent


You must make sure that authority is on the C1207 Standing Authority file at our headquarters in Southend.


   

D - consignee’s own authority deferment.


As appropriate.


49


Identification of warehouse


If a warehouse entry has been made, insert the code of the warehouse to which the goods are to be removed.


54


Place and date


Insert in block letters the place and date where the entry was completed and the name of the person who completed the entry. Sign the entry declaration.


Please note that when signing box 54, a legal declaration is being made that all the details entered on the C88 are complete and accurate, and that the requirements of any applicable national or EU legislation has been met.


4. Additional documents

4.1 What documents do I have to send with the completed SAD?

Enclose any of the following documents with your completed entry:

(a) the commercial invoice and any other documents in support of the declared value of the goods

(b) any work sheets used to calculate VAT

(c) an import licence (for goods subject to licensing)

(d) documentary proof of origin (where required)

(e) a preference certificate, where applicable, for goods from countries that has a preferential trade arrangement with the EU

(f) any other certificate required for particular kinds of goods

(g) packing slips for multi-package consignments, giving details of the contents of each package

(h) evidence of export such as an invoice or approval note for returned goods relief, and

(i) any other documents in support of the importation and/or required by us.

5. Returning the form

5.1 What do I do when I have completed the SAD?

Completed forms should be returned to us at the address shown on the top right hand corner of the Notice of Arrival (see paragraph 2.4) together with any supporting documentation (see paragraph 4.1).

You must return the form promptly as any undue delay will result in additional storage charges being incurred and could lead to Royal Mail Group disposing of the package(s).

Do not send a remittance with your entry unless asked to do so. If charges are due, HMRC will send you a payment request with the details of how to submit your payment. Please note that goods cannot be cleared until a payment is cleared and if you choose to make a payment by cheque this may take at least four weeks to fully clear. If deferment of customs charges is requested, the appropriate deferment number should be quoted in box 48 (see paragraph 3.1).

6. Glossary of terms

Term


Description


Ad valorem duty


Duty expressed as a percentage based on customs value of the goods, for example, 10% ad valorem means that the duty payable is 10% of the customs value of the goods.


Anti-Dumping duty


A customs duty on imports providing protection against the dumping of cheap goods in the EU by foreign producers.


Customs Commodity Code


A code identifying the type of goods being Imported for the assessment of import charges.


Customs Procedure Code


Used on a Customs entry to identify the procedure for which the goods are entered.


European Union (EU)


Countries who are full Members of the EU. The 27 Member States are:


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.


EFTA


European Free Trade Association. Members of EFTA are: Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.


GSP


Generalised System of Preferences. A full list of participating countries can be found in the Tariff.


Single Administrative Document (SAD)


An EU form used to declare imported goods to Customs.


Special territories of the EU


Territories connected to EU Member States to which special rules apply. The Special Territories are:


The Aland Islands, The Canary Islands, The Channel Islands, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, and Reunion, Mount Athos also known as Agion Poros.


If you have a question about Excise or Customs Duty

Go to hmrc.gov.uk.

Phone 0300 200 3700 (for opening hours please visit the Customs, International Trade & Excise enquiries Helpline page).

If you are hard of hearing or speech impaired and use a Textphone, phone 0300 200 3719.

Your rights and obligations

Your Charter explains what you can expect from us and what we can expect from you. For more information, go to Your Charter.

Do you have any comments or suggestions?

If you have any comments or suggestions to make about this notice, please write to:

HM Revenue & Customs
EEC
10th Floor SW
Alexander House
Victoria Avenue
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS99 1AA

Please note this address is not for general enquiries.

For your general enquiries please phone our Helpline 0300 200 3700.

Putting things right

If you are unhappy with our service, please contact the person or office you have been dealing with. They will try to put things right. If you are still unhappy, they will tell you how to complain.

If you want to know more about making a complaint go to hmrc.gov.uk and under quick links, select Complaints and appeals.

How we use your information

HMRC is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. We hold information for the purposes specified in our notification to the Information Commissioner, including the assessment and collection of tax and duties, the payment of benefits and the prevention and detection of crime, and may use this information for any of them.

We may get information about you from others, or we may give information to them. If we do, it will only be as the law permits to:

  • check the accuracy of information
  • prevent or detect crime
  • protect public funds.

We may check information we receive about you with what is already in our records. This can include information provided by you, as well as by others, such as other government departments or agencies and overseas tax and customs authorities. We will not give information to anyone outside HMRC unless the law permits us to do so. For more information go to hmrc.gov.uk and look for Data Protection Act within the Search facility.

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