Customs Declarations for Goods You Bring or Receive into the UK


From 1 January 2021, if you are a UK-based business bringing or receiving goods from the EU, you must complete an import declaration to get your goods through customs.


You can do this yourself, but as completing a customs declaration can be complicated and you will need compatible software to do it, many smaller and medium sized importers typically use a specialist. Please see our guide entitled “Importing goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021” if you are thinking of this approach.


For Government advice on using a specialist see:




Most declarations are submitted electronically through Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. If you are going to do this yourself, rather than appoint an agent, you will need to:
• apply for access to CHIEF
• buy third party software that can submit declarations through CHIEF


To apply for CHIEF see:

Use form C1800 to access Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) and give traders full contact details that need to be linked to their “badge”.

This form is interactive (one that you complete on screen) and you must use Adobe Reader to complete it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader here:


There are different rules for:• carrying merchandise in your baggage with a value less than £873
• importing goods by post
• importing multiple low value parcels on one declaration

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