The government has announced a new package of improvements to streamline customs processes and reduce admin burdens for business. 

HMRC published the results from three consultation processes that were initiated shortly after the Spring Budget in March 2023.

The first was on the development of a voluntary standard for customs intermediaries. The objective of the voluntary standard is to set a benchmark, drive best practice and improve quality in the sector.

The government also announced the next stage in its Modernising Authorisations project.

The initial aim of the project was to reduce administrative burden for using procedures – such as AEO or inward and outward processing – by taking a “once and done” approach, with the objective that traders will not have to submit the same information twice.

The next phase is focused on updating and introducing new authorisation guidance, while continuing to co-design future authorisation processes with industry. The project will commence delivery of a new customer portal in 2024 with plans to conclude delivery in 2025.

HMRC also announced that it will make changes to the way customs guarantees work for special procedures, temporary storage and duty deferment. The aim is to allow more traders to access these various procedures.

Under the planned changes, which are expected later in 2024, guarantees will not be required from approved traders for duty deferment accounts containing below £30,000, tripling from the current £10,000 threshold.

The final announcement was a set of three measures designed to make the transit process simpler, cheaper and more accessible:

– Authorised consignees will no longer be required to physically unload goods at their approved locations to end a transit movement, providing the movement originated at an authorised consignor’s approved location and the goods were moved under a seal.

– Government is removing the requirement to submit an export declaration when goods under transit are loaded onto vehicles in Great Britain for use or consumption on board, providing evidence of the goods leaving is retained.

– In 2024, as part of the modernising authorisations project, the government will introduce a digital process to allow authorised consignors to add a client’s premises to their authorisation to start transit movements from these locations.