Upcoming changes to customs procedures in the UK

Customs clearance in the UK is constantly evolving, especially since Brexit (even though we are nearly three years on!). In the second half of 2023, there will be some more big changes coming for UK importers. Find out about some of the upcoming changes to customs in this article.

Export declarations must be declared on CDS from 30th November 2023

You only have three more months to declare your export clearances on the CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) system. After this, all export declarations must be completed on the CDS (Customs Declaration Service) system.

If you are already importing and set up on CDS, then you need to double check your authorisations if you currently use different brokers for export clearances and T1 forms. If you are an exporter who does not import at all, and hasn’t got started with CDS yet, then now is the time. There is a lot of admin to go through, and it is better to be prepared in advance for the switchover.


The CDS waiver 999L has been granted extension, but will be removed from February 2023

HMRC recently wrote a letter to the community advising that the document waiver code 999L will continue to be allowed until the new year. This is to help those who currently rely on the code for technical issues, as well as those who are newly migrated to CDS from CHIEF.

The 999L code has a similar function to CHIEF’s LIC99, in that the use of this code confirms that the goods being moved do not require further documents or licensing. This code will be replaced in time by document-specific codes that align with the type of waiver being claimed.

You can use 999L on import clearances until 31st January 2024, and exports until 31st January 2025.

In their letter to the community, HMRC stressed that the 999L remains for UK use only as it is no part of the Union Customs Code, and therefore cannot be used on movements related to Northern Ireland.


The Windsor Framework now allows for waived duty on goods to Northern Ireland, and reclaim for qualifying past shipments

The Windsor Framework was recently accepted by the UK and the EU as a solution to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Under the original clearance process, many goods moving to Northern Ireland from the UK have been taxed due to being at risk of smuggling to the Republic of Ireland. 


Under the Windsor Agreement, goods that are moving to Northern Ireland from mainland UK can be moved tax free if they can prove that they will remain inside the territory of Northern Ireland. Moreover, you can also reclaim any duty that has been paid on qualifying shipments that have been moved since January 2021.

To apply for a reclaim, your shipment must meet one of the following conditions:

– Your goods were physically sold in Northern Ireland.
– You have reexported the goods back to the UK or another non-EU destination.
– Your goods were processed or consumed in Northern Ireland.
– The goods were destroyed in Northern Ireland.
– The goods are a permanent fixture in Northern Ireland (such as an installed wind turbine).

You can apply for a reclaim on any goods moved before 30th June 2023 until 30th June 2026. For any shipments moved after 30th June 2023, you have three years from the date of duty notification to apply.


Importers of livestock and animal products need to be aware of Target Operating Model (TOM) risk categories and requirements from 30th October


Animals and products of animal origin will be categorised into low, medium, and high risk, with each of these attracting a standard set of requirements for import. 

All shipments will require a prenotification on the Import of Products, Animals, Food, and Feed System (IPAFFS), with higher-risk shipments also requiring health documentation and physical checks. You can see the TOM risk categories for your goods here.


Need help with upcoming changes to customs clearance?


Universal Customs Clearance provide import and export clearance for all major ports in the UK, and stay informed of the latest changes to customs so that we can help you keep your business moving. Contact us for more information.


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