Customs Duty Advice

Customs duties apply to the importation of goods into the EU from non EU location and rates of duty vary depending on the product in question. As customs duty cannot be recovered from the tax authorities in the way import VAT can, it is critical that businesses have a good handle on this area to ensure the duty cost in the supply chain is minimised as far as possible.   

Customs duty has historically had a low profile in comparison with other taxes. Many companies simply outsource customs compliance to third party freight forwarders and have little control over the content of the declarations made, often due to the fact that staff are not properly trained in this area.  The impact of this lack of awareness is threefold: 

  • the opportunity to mitigate the duty burden as much as possible is overlooked
  • if customs declarations are completed incorrectly, there is a risk that the supply chain will be disrupted whilst queries are resolved
  • HMRC may impose penalties where errors are identified


We can advise on a broad range of customs duty issues including the following:

  • valuation (from the basic rules to unbundling, ‘first sale’ structuring)
  • classification
  • origin
  • the use of customs duty reliefs and warehousing to reduce cost or manage cashflows
  • supply chain security including in-depth assistance with AEO applications
  • standing instructions for freight forwarders
  • implementing a robust customs compliance framework
  • dummy audits
  • training


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