Government launches service aimed at making importing easier for UK businesses

Government launches service aimed at making importing easier for UK businesses
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Tue 9th May 2023

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has unveiled a new service which it says will help businesses tackle the paperwork involved with importing goods to the UK.

When importing goods, traders must work out the value of their goods to calculate customs duty and import VAT.

This can be complicated so using the new Advance Valuation Ruling Service (AVRS), HMRC will confirm to businesses that the method used to calculate the value is correct.

A decision is legally-binding for three years and traders can use it to work out costs ahead of import shipments.

Aidan Reilly, HMRC's director of customs policy and strategy, said:

"AVRS will make a real difference to UK importers by stripping away uncertainty and reducing their administrative burden.

"The new service legally guarantees the trader's valuation method is correct making it quicker and easier to manage customs.

"It will complement our existing tariff and origin services to give traders more certainty on the cost of importing their goods, making it easier for them to budget."

HMRC said it will take up to 90 days for it to confirm the correct valuation method once an application has been made.

The new service was first announced on 15 March by the government in a policy paper released alongside chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Spring Budget.

AVRS is part of the government's wider efforts to reduce the red tape associated with international trade. After several delays, the government published plans in April to streamline and simplify post-Brexit customs requirements for goods being exported to the UK from the European Union.

Full government guidance on AVRS is here.

Relevant Enterprise Nation resources for UK importers

Importing goods to the UK: A step-by-step guide

How to import goods from the EU to the UK

What businesses need to know about pre-notifying imports

A checklist for customs declarations

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's news reporter and Bristol Local Leader. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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