Whether importing or exporting, it is essential that any business trading internationally complies with customs and duty regulations. This can cause a significant amount of concern and worry for many organisations and in many cases acts as a barrier for those wishing to take the next steps into the international arena.
Prevent delays and legal action
Customs and duty compliance is complex and requires close attention. Providing the wrong or inaccurate tariff or customs procedure codes (CPCs) can, among other consequences, delay inspections and the goods themselves. In cases where too much duty is paid, the price of goods in the onwards sale phase may be affected and, in turn, the trader’s cash flow. Paying too little can result in penalties, such as legal action or fines.
Many companies employ a dedicated customs agent to deal with customs entries; however, while this can undoubtedly save time and money, it will not protect the trader against liability if inaccurate declarations are made in their name.
Despite these fears, an effective customs policy − identifying the most accurate and favourable CPCs and complying with valuation rules − can enable companies to optimise import duties. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can confirm the most appropriate tariffs for the goods traded, which can then be set for a period of up to six years in accordance with the Binding Tariff Information (BTI) rulings.
Integrated supply chain
As the supply cycle becomes completely integrated within the logistics community, it is important to understand the process fully. Knowing where problems may arise and how to avoid or deal with these will maximise resources and minimise issues; for example, ensure packaging is compliant and ready for shipping by using pallet wrapping machines from a specialist supplier such as www.packaging-machines.co.uk.
Transport and logistics services are expanding capabilities both upstream and downstream and, as result, in the backwards and forward supply chain. New process and corporate strategies are now required to ensure compliance and it is important that companies minimise problems by consulting HMRC for advice regarding complicated import/export issues and ensuring compliance with all current legislation.
Companies should also seek advice regarding customs facilitation procedures such as deferred payments, implement customs duty planning, and ensure that employees are fully trained on all relevant procedures.