HMRC has opened ‘Call for evidence: An Independent Customs Regime'; it considers how HMRC can improve the UK’s customs system by simplifying processes for traders and embracing innovation.

The consultation invites respondents’ views on the three fundamental building blocks of the UK’s customs system:

  • The customs intermediary sector.
  • The Simplified Customs Declaration Process (SCDP).
  • The transit facilitation.

The consultation is likely to be of most interest to traders, intermediaries, freight forwarders, fast parcels operators and hauliers, as well as business representative organisations and trade bodies or customs consultancies.

It follows the publication by the government in December 2020 of the 2025 Border Strategy, a consultation in December 2021 on a Single UK trade window and a recent pilot, ‘Ecosystem of trust’. The pilot tested how transformative technologies could reform ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ trusted traders provide data. All of this, of course, follows the UK’s departure from the EU.

According to HMRC, in 2021 around 75% of all customs' declarations were made by customs' intermediaries on behalf of traders.

  • The call for evidence includes a section to test with businesses as to whether the services the UK customs intermediary sector currently provides are easily accessible, high-quality, and cost-effective.
  • It also considers whether the SCDP which allows authorised traders to provide less data at the frontier and duty at a later point, can be made more attractive to those who do not currently use it.

The consultation questions, and there are nearly sixty, can be found in chapter 7 of the call for evidence document.

Responses are invited by 2 May 2022 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Useful guides on this topic

International goods
Special VAT rules apply to goods bought from and sold to non-UK businesses.

How to claim back import VAT and duties
Buying goods from Europe? Now that the UK has left the EU you may well now be liable for VAT and customs duties. If your imports are returned or import taxes have been applied in error you can claim a refund. 

External links

Call for evidence: An Independent Customs Regime 

Policy paper: 2025 Border Strategy 

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