Import duty difference 

The volume of both Import and Export declarations clearly results in a Post Clearance amendment process being utilised.  Let us explain the reasons, not excuses, behind the preventable re-work of these declarations and make it CLEAR for you.

Based on current levels of UK/EU trade and subject to new customs arrangements negotiated with the EU, HMRC’s current estimate of the maximum number of customs declarations per year after March 2019 to be around a 200 million increase on the 55 million existing declarations each year.

Consequently 55 million entries per year it is inevitable that errors are being made by shippers, importers, agents/FPO’s.  Current figures available for submitted Post Clearance amendments are approximately 2,700 reclaims submitted per month which include the following amendment types;

  1. VAT number change
  2. Over declaration
  3. Incorrect tariff number used
  4. Customs procedure code
  5. Preference document
  6. Importer/shipper details

Amendment requirements

It is worth noting, and the first thing to remember, almost all post clearance amendments for both Import and Export will require a Letter of Explanation. This should outline in detail how and why error was made and including preventative measures for the future.

1.VAT number change – Letter of explanation including preventative measures for any future imports.

2. Over declaration – Unique invoice from shipper showing correct values.

3. Customs Duty vs tariff – Evidence of classification in the form of BTI and/or Trade literature.

4. Customs procedure code – Copies of any customs authorisation/s which maybe applicable.

5. Preference document –  Evidence of preference if not used.

6. Importer/shipper details – Correct importer/exporter details including EORI.

7. Submitting an amendment – Online or via the postal service for both Imports (C285)  and Exports (C81)

It is especially relevant to know import VAT is generally non-refundable if you are VAT registered and the declaration has correctly been made in your name. This is due to a process which is already in place to reclaim VAT via monthly/quarterly returns.

Clearlight have over 60 years of experience in the international import and export business.  Our experience encompasses reclaims/amendments/refunds saving business tens of £1,000’s. If you need assistance, require a “spot audit” of your import and/or export entries for compliance contact us on 01283 553099 or

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