Traders can now apply for Advanced Valuation Rulings on gov.uk – and other customs updates

Fri 28 Apr 2023
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

Digital documents on laptop

The government has published a new webpage explaining how businesses can apply for Advanced Valuation Rulings.

These rulings are legally binding decisions made by customs authorities regarding which valuation method a business should use when submitting a customs valuation on a declaration.

The government declared that it was going to introduce this new service in a policy paper that accompanied the package of customs measures that the Chancellor announced in this year’s Spring Budget.

‘Legally backed decision’

There are six methods for determining the customs value of an imported good, indicated by the government here. The declarant is responsible for identifying the correct valuation method for their shipment as this impacts the amount of duty due on the imported goods.

According to gov.uk, when a business is uncertain of which valuation method to use, it can apply for an Advanced Valuation Ruling to check that the method it’s identified is correct or if it wants a “legally backed decision” that it can use a particular method before submitting an import declaration. It is not mandatory to apply for an advanced ruling.

The government has advised that it could take up to 90 days for it to issue a ruling once an application is submitted. Rulings will apply for three years unless they are withdrawn or cancelled.

In other news

The government regularly issues updates to the customs and trade industry through gov.uk and to members of the Joint Customs Consultative Committee (JCCC).

This week, updates included:

  • A reminder that some members of the civil service – including some HMRC and Border Force staff – are on strike today (28 April), potentially impacting goods movements through UK ports, airports and Inland Border Facilities (IBF)
    • The impact of the strikes is likely to last into tomorrow morning
    • Traders could experience delays when contacting the National Clearance Hub (NCH) and Customs & International Trade (CIT) Helpline
    • The JCCC has advised that if traders can avoid moving goods in this period, they should do so
    • Businesses can check IBF availability here
  • A reminder that the latest version of the Customs Declaration Service (CDS 4.0.0) is going live on Saturday 29 April
    • There will be downtime on CDS between 9.30pm and midnight tomorrow (29 April) while this update is taking place
    • Declarations submitted during this period will be processed at the end of the downtime
    • This may impact the use of the Goods Vehicle Movement Service too – go here for more information
  • Barclays is also carrying out planned maintenance work on its Faster Payments service from 10am to 6pm tomorrow, which could impact processing times for declarations on CDS
    • For users making payments via a CDS Cash Account or Duty Deferment Account, there will be no alternative during the outage; you are recommended to pay into your account in advance of the outage to avoid delays on your declarations
    • For those making immediate payments, you can complete payments here
    • Declarations will not be rejected in either of the above circumstances, but will be held pending release or clearance if required funds are delayed by the outage
  • There is also planned CDS service maintenance between 6pm and 10pm on Thursday 4 May 2023
    • This will not lead to full system downtime or outage
    • But there may be intermittent delays to some declaration responses of up to 30 minutes between 6pm and 10pm that day.
  • New supplementary guidance has also been published on the upcoming update to the CDS here
  • The government’s Export Control Joint Unit has issued a new Notice to Exporters regarding further sanctions imposed against Russia during April
  • Government has also launched a consultation on the customs treatment of low-value post and parcel exports, running from 27 April to 20 July 2023

TOM survey

Aside from CDS updates and the series of customs measures announced at the Spring Budget, the government is also looking to reduce trade friction through the new Border Target Operating Model, a draft of which was published earlier this Spring.

The government is currently running extensive consultations with industry on the draft, ahead of finalising the model later in the year.

The Institute of Export & International Trade is running its own survey so that it can represent the trader community in its ongoing dialogue with government about the new model.

The survey – which you can complete here – is looking for your views on:

  • The new model for Safety and Security controls
  • The new model for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls
  • What challenges meeting the proposed timeline for introducing the new model
  • What further detail is needed to prepare for the implementation of the new model