- Classify the goods correctly for Customs purposes, and thereby establish requirements of all Government Departments.
- Determine Export Licensing requirements.
- Identify if the goods qualify for Preferential Duty rates in the intended Country of Destination, and advise which Preference Certificate, Approved Exporter’s Declaration, or Exporter’s Declaration, is appropriate to provide the benefit to the recipient.
- Ensure that goods leaving any form of Customs Control, Bond or Suspense Regime, are correctly presented to enable swift discharge of presumed liability.
- Consider the Reason for Export, if any Customs Regime which might be applied in order to obtain a later benefit. [Goods exported in order to be returned, in same state or as components of a final product, usually fall in to this category – and the intended benefit to be taken on re-import must be notified at the time of export.]
- Obtain Authorisation for Customs Procedures requiring prior Approval.
- Establish the correct Value for Customs Purposes.
Most Traders simply want their export consignments to be released through HMRC for shipment as soon as possible. The minimum requirement for a shipment from the UK is to present an Export Declaration electronically and receive ‘clearance’, ‘permission to proceed’, before the goods leave the UK or, on condition, at the place of loading for export/transhipment, if that is in another EU Member State. UK declarations are submitted to what was the ‘New Export System’ and are referred to variously as a ‘NES’, a ‘SAD’ (Simplified Administrative Document), an ‘EAD’ (Export Administrative Document), or a C88. If a beneficial Customs Regime is cited, UK Exports must be declared in the UK, no matter if being loaded/transhipped for Export in another EU Member State.
An Export Procedure is not completed until the declared consignment either exits the EU or is removed to another Customs Procedure within the EU: A consignment shipped Ocean Freight to China from Felixstowe, the Place of Export is Felixstowe. A consignment shipped via road, and ferry or Eurotunnel (RoRo), to Morocco, might exit the EU at Cadiz in Spain, where the truck boards another ferry bound for Tangiers.
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Tips for exporters
In order to be effective and valid, an Incoterm must be stated as being an Incoterm and be accompanied by a “named place” : “Incoterms 2010:Term/Place”. It is also wise to add a statement for any ambiguity or if any agreed deviation is in the contract.
In the case of EXW Exports where the Seller (Exporter) is responsible for the Export Customs Declaration, it is common for the Exporter to arrange and take the cost of the Export Declaration to ensure it is completed correctly to discharge their obligations.
Therefore, we might see Terms stated as:- ‘Incoterms 2010 – EXW Birmingham, UK – UK Export Customs Clearance at Exporter’s Order and Cost.’
Always prepare a separate packing list, showing gross and nett weights, for each individual package and commodities therein. Show other units of quantity as appropriate; litres, linear metres (need width to be stated), square metres, number, etc. Between the invoice and packing list, provide a clear description and a technical description of the items sold – or the commodity code (HS / Tariff Number).
If you wish to apply for a Preference Certificate to accompany your export and provide a benefit for your customer – unless you have manufactured the goods and understand the criteria for awarding Preference to the particular commodity class, and hold evidence of the qualifying process – you must hold a Supplier’s Declaration confirming the goods conform to the criteria and are eligible.