What to do if your goods arrive in Great Britain without an import declaration 
And how Aerona could be of invaluable assistance in ensuring that if you do receive undeclared goods, you do not fall foul of HMRC. 

The first thing to say is that it is expected that importers and clearing agents such as Aerona should make sure that importers do not unintentionally find themselves in receipt of undeclared goods during the period 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2021. It is the duty of importers and agents to ensure that hauliers are moving their goods compliantly. HMRC have stated that they will monitor the movement of goods to identify and address non-compliance. 

Where undeclared goods have been imported, HMRC could impose civil penalties and import VAT as well as import duty or excise duty. 

In addition, it is not legally possible for the importer (or their agents) to correct matters simply by submitting a retrospective declaration. 

In order to pay any outstanding liabilities the importer (or their agents) has two options. It is worth noting that the second option is available only if the first one cannot be used. 

It is also important to be aware that neither of these options constitutes a legal declaration, but it will, however, enable the importer to settle outstanding liabilities. This action could influence the HMRC decision as to whether a civil penalty will also be imposed. 

Option 1: Submit a full declaration for the free-circulation procedure as soon as possible. 

With undeclared goods it is not possible to defer any liabilities for import or excise duties by declaring them onto a customs special procedure or excise duty suspension arrangement. You have one month to submit a non-statutory import declaration. 

1. You should check to see if the HMRC exchange rates have changed.
    If they have you 
must settle your liabilities at the exchange rate that was in force at the date of the actual import. 

2. Check to confirm if the rate of tax or duties due on imports have changed. This can affect the import declaration.
    You can use the Trade Tariff Tool: https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff to check rates.

If a full import declaration cannot be submitted you will need to use Option 2. VAT on undeclared goods must be paid when the non-statutory declaration is presented. 

Option 2: Submit a supplementary declaration to HMRC as soon as possible showing the correct date of import. 

This option requires the importer to be authorised to submit simplified declarations for imports. Alternatively you can appoint an agent (such as Aerona) who is authorised. It is expected that either yourself or your authorised agent will submit the simplified declaration within four months. Keep a record of the process in case compliance checks are made. 

Both options illustrated here are very much simplified and edited versions and using either of them is complex, meaning that for untrained personnel the process can be fraught with difficult decisions that, if wrongly applied, could become an expensive liability. 

At Aerona our advice is to seek professional assistance as early in the procedure as possible, because if the goods have been imported non-compliantly as undeclared goods it is not possible to pay VAT retrospectively. 

If you are concerned that you may have imported undeclared goods then please do not hesitate to contact Aerona as soon as possible. Do not delay this process. We will do our very best to advise and assist you. Better still, contact Aerona before you import your goods in order to ensure that you do not fall foul of these complex and often confusing regulations. 

If you would like our assistance with your import activities from anywhere in the world, please contact Aerona for highly experienced, professional assistance as soon as possible. You can call us on: 0161 652 3443.
You can also email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or you can send us an online message using the form that can be found on our Contact page.