Series 21 - Back to Brexit Basics - Simplified customs procedures in UK

Feb 14, 2019

After a short break, this series is back with a look in more detail at the simplified customs procedures the HMRC propose to introduce in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP)

HMRC will introduce simplified customs procedures for 145,000 UK importers who trade with the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit to enable goods to move freely through the UK.  This will also give traders a chance to prepare to apply the same customs processes when trading with the EU that already apply when trading with the rest of the world.  These simplified procedures will be in place for at least a year from 29 March 2019.

HMRC have written to affected traders telling them about the Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for customs which will make importing easier for a year after Brexit in the event of a no-deal.

The TSP will mean that traders can import goods into the UK and defer making a full customs declaration and paying customs duties.  Specific information must be included on the declaration including:

  • The date and time the goods arrived in the UK
  • A description of the goods and the commodity code
  • The quantity imported
  • Purchase and (if available) sales invoice numbers
  • The customs value of the goods
  • The serial numbers (if appropriate)
  • Delivery details
  • Supplier details

After the goods have been imported:

  • supplementary declaration must be sent by the importer by the fourth working day of the month following the arrival of the goods into the UK
  • HMRC will take a direct debit on the 15th day of the month after the goods arrive in the UK if there are duties or taxes to pay

Businesses must register for TSP to be able to transport goods from the EU into the UK without having to make full customs declarations at the border. Traders are able to postpone paying import duties for a month after import.  Import VAT will be due on the next VAT return rather than when the goods arrive at the UK border.

Businesses can register for TSP from 7 February 2019 if they are established in the UK, import goods from the EU and have an EORI number

The policy will be reviewed three to six months after it is introduced on 29 March 2019 to see how it is working. Businesses will be given at least a 12 month notice period before withdrawing the TSP.  After that time period has elapsed businesses must apply the usual customs processes to imports from the EU.  It’s envisaged by the UK government that the 12 month notice period will give business a chance to prepare.

More information on the TSP can be found on and you can also read a copy of the letter sent to traders.

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