BIFA issues advice on Delayed Declaration Scheme

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Robert Keen, the voice of British freight
Robert Keen, the voice of British freight

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) is advising its members to be very careful with any business that they are offered from traders that have taken advantage of HMRC’s Delayed Declaration Scheme, but which have not taken out a CFSP authorisation in their own right and are now trying to find a Customs Agent to undertake the work required to complete the process.

BIFA Director General, Robert Keen, says that UK importers that took advantage of the scheme at the beginning of this year, now have until June 25 to complete customs formalities for declarations delayed from early January, and many are looking for help from a BIFA member that has a CFSP authorisation to make a supplementary declaration under the scheme.

“We are reminding members that if they take on this work, it is their CFSP authorisation being used and they may have to pay any duties and VAT on behalf of the importer. So, it is essential that they ensure that their customers’ paperwork is in order and completely accurate, and if it is not, our advice is to not accept the responsibility.”

The UK Government introduced the Delayed Declarations scheme following the end of the Brexit transition period, giving businesses importing into the UK up to 175 days to complete their customs declarations.

Any business that took advantage of this opportunity at the start of January this year, now has a deadline of June 25 (or 175 days from the original import) to make the declaration.

Keen adds: “Whilst the Government has extended the scheme to defer declarations to 31 December 2021 on a rolling basis, it is important that any BIFA members undertaking this work on an importer’s behalf remains vigilant and ensures that they have all the information required to make an accurate supplementary declaration and that they don’t miss the first and subsequent deadlines.

“Any mistakes could be costly as, despite the ability to use direct representation, the authorised agent is still considered to be the owner of the procedure and responsible for a timely submission of correct declarations.

“Finally as payment will need to be made against the Deferment Account of the CFSP authorisation, we are reminding our members to consider the impact of potentially large sums that become due and the ability of the client to meet their obligations.”