According to recent statistics released by HMRC, many businesses are unaware of the availability of helpful import documentation that can be obtained directly from HMRC. All import businesses have the right to view their customs data from HMRC which contains full details of declarations made in the company name. HMRC have released information that details how just 1% of businesses sign up for the rights to access this data, meaning 99% of import businesses are currently missing out on their right to visibility.* We suspect the low take-up of this service is merely due to many businesses being unaware that this access is available to them.
What services are available to import businesses?
Management Support System (MSS)
HMRC provide ‘Management Support System’ (MSS) reports that show the detail of imports that have been reported to them for specific importers. These monthly reports, administered via email, can be purchased from HMRC. The ‘full’ report is currently priced at £960 + VAT per year and provides a useful internal audit check for the business to use when verifying its import values and declarations. HMRC have provided a sample MSS report to demonstrate what information is detailed on a report, and to see if this information will benefit you.
MSS reports can be purchased as a one-off report, or ongoing reports for a minimum of 12 months.
Customs Declaration Service (CDS)
Another important service available to businesses is ‘Customs Declaration Service’ (CDS). This service supports in making import and export declarations when moving goods in and out of the UK. HMRC has prolonged the deadline for transitioning to CDS Exports as 30th March 2024 to ensure a smooth transition for all businesses. CDS will then become the sole customs platform, and all businesses will need to use this service to declare goods. CDS will be replacing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) with the aim of creating a more flexible system that can handle future import and export growth.
CDS can be accessed through the GOV.uk website and entering your Government Gateway user ID.
If your business’ trade involves the import of goods from overseas and you would like to understand more about the data and support available from HMRC, please contact one of our team using the form below. Price Bailey can assist in obtaining your business’ customs records and can also review import processes to ensure that businesses are correctly reporting and processing imports.
* Information released by HMRC was in response to a Freedom of Information request submitted by Barbourne Brook Limited.
We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.
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