Import/Export (Customs)

Areas of assistance for importers and exporters

In relation to businesses that import and export, we can offer expert advice regarding VAT. Please visit our sister brand,, for further details on how we can help, both on importing and exporting, as well as our AEO consultancy offering.

Customs duty and import VAT - non-EU imports

If a business is importing goods from non-EU countries, there are three broad areas of compliance and opportunity:

  • Facilitation schemes

  • Commodity codes of goods imported

  • Valuation of imports

Facilitation schemes

There are a number of schemes available that provide cash flow as well as actual duty and import VAT savings. Contact us for further details of these schemes.

Valuation and commodity codes

It is incredibly important for importers to act in a proactive manner, since they are the responsible party for the information declared. To that end, it is imperative that the importer is actively involved in both determining and advising the correct values and commodity code descriptions (these determine duty rates) to ensure that neither underpayments nor over payments of duty and import VAT occur. Both kinds of error can significantly affect profitability in a negative way.

In addition, HM Customs & Excise has recently introduced (potentially) stringent civil penalties in respect of import declarations, so compliance now has an added dimension to it.

As a result, The VAT People can provide proactive advice in determining the correct values for duty and VAT purposes (the rules being complex in some instances), as well as assisting in the establishment of the most appropriate and beneficial commodity codes.

EU imports and VAT

In addition to non-EU imports, there are particular VAT and statistical reporting (Intrastat) rules that mean all intra-EU transactions need to be considered in a proactive manner.

There are a number of compliance issues that you need to be aware of – they can also provide opportunities for pro-active planning.

We are happy to discuss any issue regarding customs duty, excise duty or VAT (import or general) on an initial free, no obligation basis.

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status

In addition to assistance on Customs matters, we can also provide advice, guidance and assistance on how to obtain AEO accreditation. AEO is an international kite mark which is becoming ever more important for the following businesses:

  • Exporters

  • Importers

  • Logistics firms

There are some real benefits from AEO accreditation and we can help businesses decide whether it is for them. More in depth details regarding AEO can be found at

Get In Touch

Our free helpline which is available on 0161 477 6600, or complete our contact form with any other queries.

If you have customs or AEO issues − click here to go to our sister site .

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