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UK: Former CFSP - How SCDP can Simplify Your Trade - BUT watch out for new Red Tape!

(FREE) SCDP is the new name for customs simplifications in the UK. Sounds simple enough, but getting it is not as straightforward as you may think! We explore...

We have been helping many clients to set up simplified procedures and similar questions pop up all the time, so it's time to get the facts straight.

Simplifications are usually always welcome, especially in Customs and Global Trade, which is feverishly complicated. Without them, the feeling often is that companies would have to battle through pages and pages of customs declarations, associated laws and guidance, spending hours and hours additional time on added bureaucracy. So, bring on anything that makes it easier!

The new talk of the town, the wonder weapon in the UK is SCDP!

In this blog entry, we will be reviewing the key features of SCDP, the new simplified procedures in the UK. We will explain what it is and how it works - in the nutshell. We will elaborate on the application process and what criteria to meet. Finally, we will offer paid plan subscribers the possibility to download a guide to the 10+ fundamental questions that every applicant has to answer, depending on their circumstances.

So if you are ready to discover SCDP and find out if it is right for you, read on!

⇒ YOUR TURN: What do you think about simplified procedures? How important is it for your business? Become part of the discussion and join our discussion by commenting below.

SCDP is unknown, actually

SCDP is largely unknown - actually. Nobody knows what it stands for, everyone only remembers the old acronym - CFSP. - Customs Freight Simplified Procedures or CFSP. Still today, officials use it and guidance sometimes still refers to it - it will take some getting used to..

SCDP: What is it and what does it stand for?

SCDP stands for the Simplified Customs Declaration Process.

When you make an import or export declaration, you may be able to make a simplified declaration when your goods arrive at or leave from a UK port or airport. But let's focus for now on imports, where SCDP is largely used.

In a nutshell, SCDP is a two-stage electronic declaration process that moves fiscal and statistical controls inland.

In step 1, you would need to provide fewer data than a full customs declaration at the frontier. In step 2, you will provide a supplementary declaration later.

This gives you flexibility and supports the flow of trade at the border. You can also speed your imports in this way.

SCDP: How does it work in practice?

Instead of a full declaration, which can take much longer and will require much more data to submit, you simply submit what's also known as a "simplified frontier declaration" to the UK's CHIEF system or the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

Here is what you still need to provide, overall:

  • customs procedure code

  • commodity code if your goods are controlled

  • the departure point and destination

  • the consignee and consignor

  • the type, amount and packaging of your goods

  • transport methods and costs

  • currencies and valuation methods

  • certificates and licences

Some of this information is required in Step 1 and some later on in Step 2.

There may be other requirements, contact us for a full rundown. Just use the chat on this website to ask your questions or leave a comment in the blog below.

When does this simplified declaration have to be submitted?

Timing is key!

Check out your port of entry as laid out in the Border Operating Model of the UK.

This determines what goes in what port.

For example, for a location that uses the Goods Vehicle Movement Service where pre-lodgement is needed, the declaration needs lodging before the driver reaches the third country port (special rules for Ireland).

However, for goods arriving at other locations: your simplified frontier declaration must be made within 90 days of your goods being presented to customs.

Be sure to empathize with your readers. Point out their frustrations and then how the product might help (or not!). You'll need to figure out what their problems are, and how the product could solve them.

RED TAPE 1: The 4th Working Day of Next Month is the Day of Reckoning!

Well, you may have delayed it, but it is not inevitable. Eventually, you have to make the supplementary declaration. Your supplementary declaration must be sent and accepted by the fourth working day of the month following the month that either the simplified frontier declaration had been accepted

Of course, you can submit your supplementary declaration at any time between the acceptance of your simplified declaration and the deadline.

There are different ways to submit a supplementary declaration, get in touch to discuss it.

When your supplementary declaration is accepted, HMRC will calculate the duty and VAT to pay and tell you owe. Payment will be taken from your deferment account on the 15th day of the following month.

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RED TAPE 2: The final step

The final step is the submission of an additional, second "Supplementary Declaration", this one is the consolidated version of all the previous declarations. This must be submitted by the fourth working day of the month following the reporting period when your supplementary declarations were due.

For example, if you submit supplementary declarations in the January reporting period, you must submit the Final Supplementary Declarations by the fourth working day of February.

We can explain more about how this works. Why don't you schedule a free consultation with us on

RED TAPE 3: Authorisation required

To be allowed to use simplified procedures, you need to be authorised. Completing this form can be very tricky and getting advice and support is recommended. A wide range of documents and codes must also be provided, which can take some time for you to set up the processes and procedures necessary. We can help you with that.

⇒ We have written a supplementary blog entry (S,P) where you can access a guide to written procedures and other requirements that you will be required to complete as part of the application process.

Help is just around the corner

We know how tricky getting authorised for simplified procedures can be for businesses. But support is just around the corner. Reach out to your dedicated Customs Manager to see learn how we can support you in getting authorised in no time.

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