Authorised Consignor / Consignee status – the smart way to expedite cross-border transportation

With so many uncertainties still surrounding post-Brexit trading regulations, it’s good to know there are measures available to UK businesses that will streamline the cross-border transport of goods beyond 31st December this year.

One thing we do know is that regardless of the eventual outcome of the EU exit negotiations, the UK will remain a member of the Common Transit Convention (CTC) – a customs procedure that’s available to businesses, enabling them to move goods across borders or territories without paying customs import duties until they arrive at their final destination.

Not only does this deliver cash-flow benefits, it also helps transport goods across the border without delay at the point of importation into the UK, and when exporting from the UK.

Businesses which transport cargo across several borders can expedite this process even further by applying for certain customs simplifications, including authorised consignee and/or consignor status. If you’re regularly moving goods using Transit, you can apply for authorised consignor or consignee status. This will allow you to start (authorised consignor) or end (authorised consignee) transit at your own premises rather than at a customs office, saving a great deal of time and inevitably costs.

If approved, this status effectively puts the business in the place of the customs authorities as either the Office of Destination or Departure. You can apply for both authorised consignor and consignee status. You should bear in mind that in order to be eligible to apply for either or both of these authorisations, you will need to demonstrate a good standard of business practice.

With either or both of these authorisations in place, you’ll be in a position to take advantage of quicker and more efficient import and export transactions, regardless of how the cross-border trading landscape looks after 31st December this year.

If you feel your business could benefit from these authorisations, let’s have a chat. Whether it’s taking a look at your systems to ensure they achieve the required standards, or supporting you through the application process, our team of specialist customs consultants is on hand to help.

Photos by: Grant Anderson – www.grantanderson.me / @grantandersondotme

Customs specialist welcomes HMRC measures to support firms with compliance amid COVID19 disruption

A leading North-east customs specialist has welcomed measures from HMRC to support businesses during this period of economic turbulence caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, but warns that firms must maintain responsibility for meeting their compliance obligations.

Nicola Alexander, Managing Director of Bethan Customs Consultancy in Oldmeldrum, said that while HMRC are taking into account the financial impact of the pandemic, businesses must be proactive in contacting their supervising office as soon as they’re aware of any potential problems in making payments.

Support measures include the potential to delay making payment of deferred customs duties and import VAT if COVID-19 has impacted on a business’ finances and cash flow. In addition, registered importers who pay cash or an equivalent can contact HMRC to request an extension to their payment deadline.

Ms Alexander said: “While we understand that the focus for business-owners right now absolutely needs to be on looking after the health and well-being of staff and working hard to stay afloat, it is nonetheless vital that they keep on top of compliance obligations. HMRC are offering support to businesses during these turbulent times, but will still actively engage in the verification of customs activities, just by electronic means instead of visiting in person.

“Businesses need to continue complying with their customs authorisations, inclusive of the submission of Bill of Discharge reports. The terms and conditions of individual HMRC authorisations are laid out within the authorisation itself. However, if a company is no longer able to comply with a condition of the authorisation because of COVID-19, they should seek permission from their supervising office in HMRC or Border Force to temporarily vary the conditions of their authorisation.”

Ms Alexander also highlighted an important update regarding the dual running of the CHIEF and Customs Declaration Service (CDS) payment declaration systems: “HMRC have decided to extend the migration timelines and keep CHIEF open beyond December 2020. However, there are various steps that businesses must take to prepare for this (if they haven’t done so already), including ensuring that they can provide the additional mandatory data set of elements which may not be required in CHIEF.”

Finally, businesses should be mindful, she points out, that Brexit will still be going ahead regardless of the current situation, with the UK set to formally leave the EU on 31st December this year as things currently stand. “Brexit has been enshrined in law, and negotiations will still be taking place, albeit remotely. With this in mind, now is the time to be applying for authorisations such as Authorised Economic Operator, as there may not be time to complete these prior to our exit date otherwise.”

Photos by: Grant Anderson – www.grantanderson.me / @grantandersondotme

Bethan launches new website

Bethan Customs Consultancy | New Website

Bethan launches new website!

Following on from the re-brand of Bethan Customs Consultancy in November last year, we are delighted to launch our new website.
Bethan Customs Consultancy was formed in 2015 and has enjoyed continued growth. Our new website helps to reflect the diversity of our client base and will be used to keep our clients and followers up to date with the latest customs news through our blog, which we will also use to share tips and advice on importing, exporting and compliance.

We’d like to thank Limetree for their help in developing our new website.

Please browse through our pages and let us know what you think.