Importers & Exporters. Apply now for your Duty Deferment account

 Wednesday, 16th December 2020 12:20

We have explained in another article what Duty Deferment is and why (if your firm’s supply chain includes imports to or exports from EU countries)... need to be aware of it, in advance of the UK’s exit from the European Union. You can read this article here.

In short, as of January 2021, EU imports and exports will be subject to customs duty, excise duty and import VAT. As well as firms facing additional costs to comply with these requirements, the paperwork associated with firms needing to complete customs declarations for the first time could lead to substantial delays across the supply chain.

But help is at hand. You can apply for a duty deferment account. This means you won’t have to pay the duty for each consignment before your goods are released. Instead, you’ll pay via a monthly direct debit.

The purpose of this blog is to guide you towards making an application for a Duty Deferment account, and provide you with the information you need to do so.

How do I apply for a deferment account?

If your firm already deals with non-EU countries, you may already have a deferment account. However, if your supply chain only involves countries in the EU, it’s not something you will have had to consider before.

This government website contains a wealth of information and allows you to make an application online.

What information will I need to provide?

Fortunately, given the complexity surrounding many of the issues facing UK businesses, the application process is relatively simple.

Applications can be made by any importing business established in the UK, or by someone appointed to represent an importer. Before beginning the application, make sure you have the following information to hand:

  • Your EORI number
  • The name associated with your EORI number
  • Your registered company number (where applicable)
  • The UK address associated with your EORI number
  • A current correspondence address
  • VAT number (where applicable)
  • Details (including date of birth) of company directors and officials
  • Details of the person responsible for customs authorisations (you will also need to provide information relating to their practical customs experience)
  • Your organisation’s required guarantee limit

What else should I know?

You can apply for a guarantee waiver when making your duty deferment application (if you have an existing duty deferment account you can apply for the waiver separately).

The waiver means you won’t have to provide a guarantee for your deferments via a bank or insurer. There are two types of guarantee waivers:

1: A waiver of up to £10,000 per month.

2: A waiver of over £10,000 per month.

Some applications for the smaller waiver (and all applications for the larger one) will require you to provide HMRC with information regarding your finances using form PFS1. This will involve having a fair bit of paperwork to hand including management accounts and forecasts; so it is well worth reading through this HMRC article before applying for a waiver.

What happens if my application is successful?

As long as a direct debit is in place, once your application is approved you will be provided with a deferment approval number.

You; or the person dealing with declarations on your behalf, will need to use this number on import declarations or to remove goods from an excise warehouse.

Are there occasions when I won’t be able to defer duty?

If you’ve exceeded your guarantee or limit for a calendar month, or the amount you have left does not cover the deferment you need, you will not be able to defer duty.

Of course, this could have significant repercussions in terms of delays to your supply chain, so we would strongly recommend that you ensure you have an adequate guarantee in place which can cope with particularly large imports.

We hope we’ve helped to take away some of the confusion associated with duty deferment in a post-Brexit economy.

Here to help

At Controlaccount we offer a wide range of products and services to help your firm increase efficiency and profitability.

And because regulatory compliance is fundamental to our ethos, we can offer practical advice and solutions to help your business navigate the new rules and regulations which Brexit brings.

To find out more about how we can help, please call 01527 388 388 or email 

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