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Customs Update: Changes to Export Post-departure Arrival

Goods being shipped to destinations outside of the UK must be accompanied by an export customs declaration. This document is given an MRN (Movement Reference Number) which must be scanned at the border to “depart” the shipment on the Customs Declaration Service software. A departed (EX-A) export customs declaration is the official evidence accepted as proof of export by HMRC for the zero-rating of the VAT.   

In some cases, it can happen that the entry is not departed by the transport company/haulier for a range of different reasons which will lead to the entry being “timed out” after 150 days. Until May 2024, customs agent and traders could complete a C1602 form to submit a retrospective departure to HMRC and update the status of the entry to avoid it being timed-out.  

However, in a recent update, HMRC has informed customs agent that they will no longer be accepting C1602 forms for these entries which will automatically time out after 150 days. To ensure you can still claim zero rating for VAT purposes, we highly recommend exporters keep a copy of the original entry (even if timed out, this shows that one was raised at the time of export). Additionally, exporters should have alternative proof of export for their records. This could be a CMR, Transit Form, Signature of Receipt, etc. A list of acceptable proof of export can be found on the website here.  

How can we help? 

  • Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce can act as your customs agent and complete export and import customs declaration on your behalf. For more information and to book an initial call with our team, please see here.  

  • We will also be running a Understanding and Checking Customs Declaration training course on 20th June – book your place here. Flash Sale: If you book in two or more courses, you can get an additional 20% off. 


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