The government is going to ask businesses, traders, and the public to give their opinion on how the customs system is working and what improvements they would like to see. The government will be requesting suggestions on the following:
- Improvements to help traders access a quality customs intermediary sector
- How the benefits of the Simplified Customs Declarations Process (SCDP) can be expanded
- How the transit facilitation can be improved
The government has committed £180m to build a UK Single Trade Window. This should streamline how traders share information with border agencies.
Furthermore, the government is looking to create an ‘Ecosystem of Trust’ which will use technology and real-time data to assure movements across the border by trusted businesses.
The consultation is also looking for feedback on the intermediaries sector. In particular, whether the cost of an intermediary is proportionate to the services offered, and whether they fulfil the necessary services which are required.
Simplified Customs Declarations Process
The consultation is also attempting to ascertain the awareness of the SCDP offer and its benefits, any suggested improvements to the authorisation process to use SCDP, frontier processes for moving goods, and the supplementary declaration process.
The current system requires declarations of aggregated multiple consignments, once they have crossed the border, to be submitted to HMRC a month and four days after they have been finalised. However, the government would like to determine whether an extension of this deadline would be beneficial.
After the submission of the supplementary declarations, HMRC provides the trader with a statement of the customs duty owed.
There is also a section on the Transit system with the government looking for feedback on how to simplify the process. While some stakeholders cite faster clearance times of their goods as the key benefit of Transit, others suggest it is the ability to move goods under duty and VAT suspense.
The costs of using Transit will vary from business to business, but the government has been told that obtaining a financial guarantee, purchasing or accessing IT software, seeking expert advice and applying to be an authorised consignor or consignee under the trusted trader scheme make up the main costs.
Lucy Frazer QC MP, financial secretary to the Treasury, said the following:
‘Our aim is for the UK to have the world’s most effective border by 2025. We’re taking this forward across a number of long-term programmes, including the Single Trade Window, which will streamline how traders share information with government. This call for evidence complements that by giving traders and the wider border industry the opportunity to have their say on what’s going well and where things could be improved.’
The consultation will close for comment on 2nd May 2022.
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