IOE and IT welcomes new HMRC announcement on CDS waiver code as a 'significant day' for traders

Fri 14 Jul 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

HMRC logo on Whitehall building

HMRC has announced the extension of wavier document ‘999L’ for declarations submitted through the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) in a “significant day” for international traders, according to senior industry experts.

HMRC has said that code 999L can continue to be used on ex-heading goods, where declarants have confirmed that there are no documentary or licensing requirements on the goods being moved.

A significant decision

Kevin Shakespeare, director of strategic projects and international development at the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) said:

“This is a significant decision and an important day for the international trading community.”

“IOE&IT has long been in favour of this change, which simplifies things for international traders. Many of our members and external partners have raised concerns about the upcoming deadline for this simplification, so we are glad to see HMRC has made the decision to extend it.“

The simplification is aimed at ensuring a “smooth” transition from the old Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system to CDS, according to the government letter announcing the news.

Code 999L explained

Ilona Kawka, IOE&IT digital trade and customs specialist, explained:

“This is important news for importers and exporters. CDS requires them to add reference codes for products being imported to confirm they are exempted from controls under various regulations.

“Code 999L saves time for traders that are certain that their products are not controlled, as only this would need to be submitted on customs declaration in CDS as a legal declaration stating their goods are eligible for a waiver on P&R license.”

Traders are advised that they are still required to check whether their goods are subject to any licencing requirements.

New deadline

HMRC also said that 999L is not a Union Customs Code and therefore cannot be used for imports or exports to Northern Ireland.

The new deadlines for this code are 31 January 2024 for imports and 31 January 2025 for exports. The deadline was previously 30 September 2023.

Temporary waiver document

HMRC is also encouraging declarants to start using document codes in place and those will be introduced over the coming months.

Traders are encouraged to ensure familiarity with them ahead of the eventual removal of the temporary 999L code.