On 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom will leave the Customs Union of the European Union (The economic Brexit). Successfully lodging a customs declaration will be essential to trade effectively, efficiently and compliantly across borders. This is a simple guide to help companies get to grips with how to complete customs declarations. For More detailed training, advice and consultency support, contact us.
Disclaimer: The information below is strictly for information only and does not assume that the information is complete or correct at the time of reading (as legislation may evolve). You should consult the relevant legal or official texts and obtain professional advice prior to completing a customs declaration. Please note that Customs Manager is not responsible for any action that you take from reading this information. The information is based on the EU Single Administrative Document (as of September 2020)
Box 1: Declaration
This box requires the status of goods which transit the EU. Goods that are wholly originating in the EU have community status. This also includes goods which have been released into free circulation by reason of payment of customs. Goods entering or leaving the EU with suspended customs are not in free circulation.
In the first subdivision, enter the relevant Union code from The Codes Appendix (see separate article).
In the second subdivision, enter the type of declaration using the relevant Union code from The Codes Appendix (see separate article).
Code IM is used in the case of trade between member states placing non-EU states under a customs procedure.
Community or common transit is a customs procedure that allows goods on which duty has not yet been paid to move freely in the EU to another state. It applies both to the EU, European Free Trade Association countries and other countries which are party to the common transit convention.
status T1 applies to non-community goods and CAP goods subject to a refund
status T2 covers the movement of community goods to be an EFTA or common transit country
status T2 F is used for community goods travelling to and from the EU special territories such as the Channel Islands and the Canary Islands.
Box 2: Consignor/Exporter
Box 2 identifies the consignor of the goods, i.e. the sender. It is optional for member states for imports. States may or may not require it.
Enter the full name and address of the last seller of the goods prior to their importation into the Union.
Where an identification number is required, the Member States may waive provision of the full name and address of the person concerned.
Where an identification number is required, enter the EORI number. If an EORI number has not been assigned to the consignor/exporter, enter the number requested by the legislation of the Member State concerned.
In the case of groupage consignments, the Member States may provide that the word ‘various’ be entered in this box, and the list of consignors/exporters attached to the declaration.
In the case of an import, where there are more than two parties the last seller should be indicated.
In the case of export, the exporter is the person who at the time when the declaration is accepted, contracts with the consignee in a third country and has the power to determine that the goods are brought to a destination outside the EU.
It may also be a private individual carrying the goods to be exported contained in their personal carriage or in another case.
It may be the person established in the EU who has the power to determine where the goods are to be brought to a destination outside the EU
Box 3: Forms
Enter the number of the subset in relation to the total number of subsets of forms and continuation forms used. For example, if there is one IM form and two IM/c forms, enter ‘1/3’ on the IM form, ‘2/3’ on the first IM/c form and ‘3/3’ on the second IM/c form.
Box 4: Loading lists
Box 4 sets out the number of loading lists
Enter in figures the number of any loading lists attached, or of commercial descriptive lists where these are authorised by the competent authority.
Box 5: Items
Box 5 sets out the total number of items, the subject of the declaration.
Enter in figures the total number of items declared by the person concerned in all the forms and continuation forms (or loading lists or commercial lists) used. The number of items must correspond to the number of boxes 31 to be completed.
Box 6: Total packages
Enter in figures the total number of packages making up the consignment in question.
Box 7: Reference number
Box 7 allows entry of a reference number if desired. The entry concerns the commercial reference number assigned by the person concerned to the consignment in question. It may take the form of a Unique Consignment Reference
Box 8: Consignee
Enter the EORI number ( Economic Operators Registration and Identification number; the trader’s Revenue issued reference number). Where the consignee does not have an EORI number, the customs administration may assign him an ad hoc number for the declaration concerned.
Enter the full name and address of the person concerned.
In the case of placing of goods under the customs warehousing procedure in a private warehouse, enter the full name and address of the depositor where he is not the declarant.
In the case of groupage consignments, the Member States may provide that the word ‘various’ be entered in this box, and the list of consignees attached to the declaration.
Box 12: Value details
Enter in this box information on value, e.g. a reference to the authorisation whereby the customs authorities
waive the requirement to produce a DV1 form in support of each declaration or details of adjustments.
Box 14: Declarant/Representative
Box 14 identifies the type of representative if any involved and contact details. The representative may be indicated, and the person on whose behalf declaration is also indicated. An additional information sheet may be required in the case of a paper return.
Enter the EORI number. Where the declarant/representative does not have an EORI number, the customs administration may assign him an ad hoc number for the declaration concerned.
Enter the full name and address of the person concerned.
If the declarant and the consignee are the same person, enter the word consignee.
To designate the declarant or the status of the representative, use the relevant Union code from The Codes Appendix (see separate article).
Box 15: Country of dispatch/export
If neither a commercial transaction (e.g. sale or processing), nor a stoppage unrelated to the transport of goods has taken place in an intermediate country, enter in box 15a the relevant Union code from The Codes Appendix (see separate article) for the country from which goods were initially dispatched to the Member State in which the goods are located at the time of their release into the customs procedure.
If such a stoppage or commercial transaction has taken place, indicate the last intermediate country.
For the purpose of this data requirement, a stoppage to enable consolidation of the goods en-route shall be considered as being related to the transport of the goods.
Box 15 requires the country of dispatch for controlled goods that require a full licensing declaration at the frontier.
Box 15a is required for release for free circulation or end-use placing under a special procedure other than transit such as inward processing or temporary admission community transit If no legal step unrelated to transport has occurred in an intermediate country, the relevant EU code is to be entered in box 15 a for the country from which the goods were initially dispatched to the member state in which the goods are located at the time of the release into the customs procedure. In the event of any such .legally significant acts, the last intermediate country is the country of dispatch/export for this purpose.
The country of dispatch/export is the country from which the goods were initially dispatched to the importing member state without halt or any legally significant act in the intermediate country.
A halt is any temporary interruption of the physical movement of the goods before moving to their final destination. A legally significant act in this context is any commercial transaction or legislative effect.
The country codes are published on EU website pursuant to legislation. They are available on the GEONOM website.
Box 17: Country of destination
Enter in box 17a the Union code from The Codes Appendix (see separate article) as follows:
For the formalities for release for free circulation including end-use, or for home-use, enter the Union code for the Member State where the goods are located at the time of release into the customs procedure. However, where it is known at the time of drawing up the customs declaration, that the goods will be dispatched to another Member State after the release, enter the code for this latter Member State. For the formalities for the inward processing procedure, enter the Union code for the Member State where the first processing activity is carried out.
For the formalities for temporary admission, enter the Union code for the Member State where the goods are to be first used. For the formalities for customs warehousing, enter the Union code for the Member State where the goods are located at the time of release into the customs procedure.
Enter in box 17b the region of destination of the goods.
Box 18: Identity and nationality of means of transport on arrival
Box 18 identifies the means of transport on which goods are loaded.
Enter the identity of the means of transport on which the goods are directly loaded at the time of presentation at the customs office where the destination formalities are completed. If a tractor and trailer with different registration numbers are used, enter the registration number of both the tractor and the trailer.
Depending on the means of transport concerned, the following details concerning identity may be entered:
Means of transport Method of identification
Sea and inland waterway transport Name of vessel
Air transport Number and date of flight (where there is no flight number, enter the aircraft’s registration number)
Road transport Vehicle registration number
Rail transport Wagon number
Box 19: Container (Ctr)
Using the relevant Union code, enter the situation when crossing the external Union frontier.
Box 20: Delivery terms
Using the relevant Union codes and headings, give particulars of the terms of the commercial contract.
Box 21: Identity and nationality of active means of transport crossing the border
Box 21 set out the name and nationality for the means of transport at the point of crossing the EU border.
Using the relevant Union code , enter the nationality of the active means of transport crossing the Unions external frontier.
In the case of combined transport or where several means of transport are used, the active means of transport is the one which propels the whole combination. For example, in the case of a lorry on a seagoing vessel, the active means of transport is the ship. In the case of a tractor and trailer, the active means of transport is the tractor.
Box 22: Currency and total amount invoiced
Box 22 sets out the currency and total amount for customs valuation purposes for currencies other than the domestic currency (euro or sterling as the case)
Using the relevant code, enter in the first subdivision the currency in which the commercial invoice was drawn up.
Enter in the second subdivision the invoiced price for all goods declared.
Box 23: Exchange rate
This box contains the exchange rate in force between the invoice currency and the currency of the Member State concerned.
Box 24: Nature of transaction
Using the relevant codes from The Codes Appendix (see separate article), enter the type of the transaction concerned.
Box 25: Mode of transport at the border
Box 25 sets out the one-digit code for the mode of transport used at the border.
Using the relevant Union code, enter the mode of transport corresponding to the active means of transport with which the goods entered the customs territory of the Union.
Box 26: Inland mode of transport
Box 26 sets out the mode of transport at the trader’s inland facilities where applicable.
Using the relevant Union code, enter the mode of transport upon arrival.
Box 29: Office of entry
Using the relevant Union code, enter the customs office by which the goods entered the customs territory of the Union.
Box 30: Location of goods
Box 30 sets out the location of the goods by country code by location code and by sheds/identity code. The codes are set out in the Tariff Volume 3
Enter the precise location where the goods may be examined.
Box 31: Packages and description of goods;
Box 31 describes the goods in any packaging to enable identification. It should give the identification number of a freight container where applicable.
Marks and numbers — Container No(s) — Number and kind
Enter the marks, numbers, quantity and kind of packages or, in the case of unpackaged goods, enter the number of such goods covered by the declaration, together with the particulars necessary to identify them. The description of the goods means the normal trade description. Except for non-Union goods placed under the customs warehousing procedure, this description must be expressed in terms sufficiently precise to enable immediate and unambiguous identification and classification. This box must also contain the particulars required by any specific rules (e.g. VAT, excise duties). Using the relevant Union code.
If containers are used, their identifying marks should also be entered in this box.
Box 32: Item number
Box 32 enters the declared number of goods in sequence.
Enter the number of the item in question in relation to the total number of items declared in the forms and continuation forms used, as described in the note to box 5.
Box 33: Commodity Code
Box 33 sets out the commodity code from the online tariff. An additional four digits apply to agricultural goods subject to CAP variable charges or anti-dumping duties.
Enter the code number corresponding to the item in question, as described in The Codes Appendix (see separate article). The Member States may provide for entry of a specific nomenclature concerning excise duties in the fifth subdivision.
Box 34: Country-of-origin code
Box 34 sets out the country of origin if a common agricultural policy export refund is being given if applicable it must set out the last country of substantial processing
Enter in box 34a the relevant Union code from The Codes Appendix (see separate article) for the country of origin, as defined in Title II of the Code.
Box 34 requires the country of origin code. It is required for exports of the agricultural product with export refunds release for free circulation
release for end-use
placing under a special procedure other than transit such as inward processing or temporary admission
placing in a customs warehouse
Box 34 is optional for
re-export after a special procedure other than transit and the customs warehousing procedure re-export after custom warehousing
The relevant EU code should be used to enter the country of origin. The country codes are published by the EU and are available on the above website GEONOM
Box 35: Gross mass (kg)
Box 35 sets out the gross mass of goods and packaging.
Enter the gross mass, expressed in kilograms, of the goods described in the relevant box 31. The gross mass is the aggregate mass of the goods with all their packing, excluding containers and other transport equipment.
Where a declaration covers several types of goods, Member States may decide that, for the procedures referred to under columns H to J of the table in (ex Title I, B), the total gross mass only be entered in the first box 35, the remaining boxes 35 being left blank.
Where a gross mass greater than 1 kg includes a fraction of a unit (kg), it may be rounded off in the following manner:
— from 0.001 to 0.499: rounding down to the nearest kg,
— from 0.5 to 0.999: rounding up to the nearest kg,
— a gross mass of less than 1 kg should be entered as 0.xyz (e.g. 0.654 for a package of 654 grams).
Box 36: Preference
Box 36 contains information on the tariff treatment of goods. This includes preferences and various other measures such as tariff quotas. It is to be completed when goods are entering to free circulation from outside the EU.
A three digit code is required made up of a one digit code (standing for general measure) followed by a two digit code standing for a more detailed breakdown.
If no preferential treatment is applied the third country duty rates (described “erga omnes”) (towards all) is inserted
This box contains information on the tariff treatment of the goods. Where its use is provided for in the matrix of Title I, section B, it must be used even when no tariff preferential treatment is requested. However, this box must not be used in the context of trade between parts of the customs territory of the Union in which the provisions of Directive 2006/112/EC are applicable and parts of that territory in which those provisions do not apply, or in the context of trade between the parts of that territory where those provisions do not apply. Enter the relevant Union code
The Commission will publish at regular intervals in the C series of the Official Journal of the European Union the list of the combinations of codes usable together with examples and explanatory notes.
Box 37: Procedure
Box 37 identifies the Customs procedure code under the declaration. This could be for example release to free circulation and payment of duty if applicable.
Using the relevant Union code from The Codes Appendix (see separate article), enter the procedure for which the goods are declared.
The codes to be entered in the first division are four-digit codes consisting of two digits representing the customs procedure requested and two digits representing the previous procedure.
The codes to be entered in the second subdivision are three-digit codes consisting of a letter followed by two alphanumeric characters. They must be used in relation to the procedure referred to in the first two characters
The codes for the first division and the possible combinations for the second division as set out in notes. The possible combinations are complex and depend on the particular procedure and are explained in detail in explanatory notes.
The various procedures possible under the code are set out in different parts of this work. Release to free circulation requires the payment of the duties. Other procedures typically involve suspension of the duties subject to conditions and security.
The series commencing zero is used in various cases of Free circulation of goods when import duties have been paid without payment of national taxes such as VAT or excise
The series commencing one is used in respect of various classes of permanent export or dispatch.
The series commencing two is used for classes of temporary export or temporary dispatch
The series commencing three is used for re-exportation of non-EU goods placed under an economic customs procedure and which are intended for re-exportation
The series commencing four is used for free circulation of goods for home use when import duties and national taxes such as VAT and excise have to be paid. For example, the first digits 40 applies to simultaneous release for free circulation and home use of goods which are not the subject of a VAT exempt supply.
The series commencing five involves goods temporarily imported
The series commencing six involves reimportation for free circulation and home use
The series commencing seven involves the placing of goods under the customs warehousing procedure
Box 38: Net mass (kg)
Box 38 is usually obligatory. It sets out the weight in kilograms of goods without packaging.
Enter the net mass, expressed in kilograms, of the goods described in the relevant box 31. The net mass is the mass of the goods without any packaging.
Box 39: Quota
Box 39 sets out relief from duty against the tariff quota. The three digit code determines whether any relief applies.
Enter the order number of the tariff quota for which the declarant is applying.
Box 40: Summary declaration/Previous document
Using the relevant Union codes from The Codes Appendix (see separate article), enter the reference particulars of any summary declaration used in the Member State of import or of any previous document.
Box 41: Supplementary units
Box 41: Where more than one of quantity is shown against a commodity code box 41 is to set out to 3 decimal places the quantity for which duty is paid. Otherwise, it is rounded up to the nearest whole number.
Where necessary, enter the quantity of the item in question, expressed in the unit laid down in the goods nomenclature.
Box 42: Item price
Box 42 sets out the item price. Enter the price of the item in question.
Box 42 requires the item price. This is the part of the invoice price relating to the item concerned. It may be the part of the invoice price from box 22 that relates to the item in accordance with the terms of delivery.
The item price must be indicated in the currency indicated in the first subdivision of box 22 and may have two decimal places. If box 22 is not used, an equivalent method of completion of box 42 applies.
If the invoice contains more than one item and the invoiced amount contains additional expenses which are comprised together for all items shown separately in the invoice the additional expenses must be divided to all items, e.g. freight costs by weight or volume. Insurance costs by price et cetera.
Box 43: Valuation method
Box 43 sets out the method of valuation used. Using the relevant Union code from The Codes Appendix (see separate article), enter the valuation method used.
Box 44: Additional information/Documents produced/Certificates and authorisations
Box 44 is required for most types of procedures. It covers additional information, documents produced certificates and authorisations, as particular circumstances required. The box shows information about the documents certificates and authorisations concerned.
The relevant codes are to be used. The documents required depend on any specific rules for the particular goods.
Where a quota is claimed other documentation required to support the application must be set out in this box. Additional information about the consignment such as certificate or authorisation codes must be set out.
Using the relevant codes from The Codes Appendix (see separate article), enter the details required by any specific rules applicable together with reference particulars of the documents produced in support of the declaration.
The subdivision ‘A.I. code’ must not be used.
Where a declaration entering goods for the customs warehousing procedure is lodged with a customs office other than the supervising office, enter the name and full address of the supervising office.
Declarations made in Member States which, during the transitional period for the introduction of the euro, give the opportunity to operators to opt for the use of the euro unit for the establishment of their customs declarations must include in this box, preferably in the subdivision in the bottom right-hand corner, an indicator of the currency unit, national unit or euro unit, used.
Member States may provide that this indicator be entered only in box 44 for the first item of goods of the declaration. In this case, the information will be deemed valid for all the goods items of the declaration.
This indicator will be constituted by the iso-alpha-3 currency code (ISO 4217).
When goods are the subject of a VAT-exempt supply to another Member State, the information required the VAT Directive 2006/112/EC shall be entered in box 44, including when required by a Member State, the evidence that the imported goods are intended to be transported or dispatched from the Member State of importation to another Member State.
Box 45: Adjustment
Box 45 sets out the terms on which the invoice has been raised to allow for judgements
This box contains information of any adjustments when no DV1 form is produced in support of the declaration. Any amounts to be entered in this box are to be expressed in the currency unit the code for which may appear in box 44, or, in the absence of such a code in box 44, in the currency of the Member State where the import formalities are completed.
Box 46: Statistical value
Box 46 sets out the statistical value of the goods in the domestic currency
Enter the statistical value expressed in the currency unit the code for which may appear in box 44, or, in the absence of such a code in box 44, in the currency of the Member State where the import formalities are completed, in accordance with the Union provisions in force.
Box 46 requires the statistical value expressed in the currency of the state where the import or export formalities are completed. There are codes for the currencies entered in box 44. The statistical value is to be entered as a whole number without decimal places in this currency. Box 46 is mandatory for several of the most important procedures including release for free circulation export and dispatch.
The statistical value is based on the value of the goods, i.e. the amount invoiced or based on the amount which would have been invoiced in the event of a sale or purchase. It does not include taxes due on export, value added tax, excise duties, levies or export refunds. It is to include only ancillary charges such as transport and insurance relating to the part of the journey which takes place on the territory of the exporting state . Other costs beyond the exporting state must generally be apportioned.
In the case of imports, the statistical value of the goods e means the value of goods at the time and place when they enter the territory of the importing state. The statistical value is the value of the goods the case of a sale or purchase, based on the invoice amount or in other cases the amount which would have been invoiced in the event of a sale or purchase.
In this case, the statistical value must not include taxes due on import such as customs duty value added tax excise duty and levies. The statistical value must include only ancillary charges such as transport and insurance relating to the part of the journey which in the case of imported goods takes place outside the statistical territory of the importing state.
Ancillary costs up to the border of the importing state must be added to the customs value at the EU border.
Box 47: Calculation of taxes
Box 47 has five columns which must be completed for each duty or tax on goods that are declared
Box 47 comprises the calculation of taxes. The tax base applicable such as value weight or other should be entered.
Enter the tax base applicable (value, weight or other). Using, where necessary, the relevant Union codes from The Codes Appendix (see separate article), the following should be shown on each line:
— the type of tax (e.g. import duty, VAT),
— the tax base,
— the rate of tax applicable,
— the amount of tax payable,
— the method of payment chosen (MP).
The amounts in this box must be expressed in the currency unit the code for which may appear in box 44, or, in the absence of such a code in box 44, in the currency of the Member State where the import formalities are completed.
The amount must be expressed in the currency of the state where the import or export formalities are completed or if a currency code is entered in box 44 in the currency thereby entered.
Completion of the columns for the type of tax and tax base is mandatory in the case of release for free circulation and end-use placing under a special procedure other than transit
Box 48: Deferred payment
Box 48 sets out the codes for deferment of payment at importation.
Enter, where applicable, the reference particulars of the authorisation in question; deferred payment here refers both to deferred payment of customs duties and to tax credit.
Box 49: Identification of warehouse
Box 49 sets out the codes for identification of warehouses
Using the relevant Union code from The Codes Appendix (see separate article), enter the reference particulars of the warehouse.
Box 54: Place and date, signature and name of the declarant or his representative
Enter the place and date of the completion of the declaration.
Subject to specific provisions to be adopted with regard to the use of computerised systems, the original of the handwritten signature of the person concerned must be given on the copy which is to remain at the office of import, followed by the full name of that person. Where that person is a legal person, the signatory should add his capacity after his signature and full name.
REMARKS CONCERNING THE CONTINUATION FORMS
Continuation forms should only be used where the declaration covers more than one item (cf. box 5). They must be presented together with an IM, EX, EU or CO form.
The instructions in Titles I and II also apply to the continuation forms. However:
— the symbols ‘IM/c’, ‘EX/c’ or ‘EU/c’ (or ‘CO/c’ where applicable) must be entered in the first subdivision of box 1, that subdivision being left blank only where:
— the form is used for Union transit only, in which case, depending on the Union transit procedure applicable to the goods concerned, ‘T1bis’, ‘T2bis’, ‘T2Fbis’ or ‘T2SMbis’ will be entered in the third subdivision of box 1,
— the form is used solely to furnish proof of the customs status of Union goods, in which case, depending on the status of the goods concerned, ‘T2Lbis’, ‘T2LFbis’ or ‘T2LSMbis’ will be entered in the third subdivision of the box,
— box 2/8 is for optional use by the Member States and should show only the name and identification number, if any, of the person concerned,
— the ‘summary’ part of box 47 concerns the final summary of all the items covered by the IM and IM/c, ex and EX/c, EU and EU/c or CO and CO/c forms used. It should therefore be used only on the last of the IM/c, EX/c, EU/c or CO/c forms attached to an IM, EX, EU or CO document in order to show the total payable by type of tax.
If continuation forms are used,
— any boxes 31 (Packages and description of goods) which have not been used must be struck out to prevent later use,
— when the third subdivision of box 1 contains the symbol T, boxes 32 (Item number), 33 (Commodity code), 35 (Gross mass (kg)), 38 (Net mass (kg)), 40 (Summary declaration/previous document) and 44 (Additional information, documents produced, certificates and authorisations) of the first item of goods of the transit declaration used must be struck through and the first box 31 (Packages and description of goods) of this document may not be used to enter the marks, numbers, number and kind of packages or goods description. In the first box 31 of this document, reference will be made, as appropriate, to the number of continuation forms bearing the respective symbols T1bis, T2bis or T2Fbis.