Global shipping and UK Customs Broker

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Importing into the UK?
Contact us to see if we can help you.

Why not see if we can help with paying the excise duty to UK Customs

Completing a Customs Declaration (CDS)

The C88/C21 form is the previous Customs Declaration forms that was used to declare goods to Customs, via their old CHIEF computer systems. Since October 2022, all Custom Declarations are being completed on the new CDS system. For more information on the new CDS system process, read on.

Our experienced team are on hand to take away the stress and confusion that this new process may bring.

The following is what must be in place, if you are a Commercial importer:

Please click on the blue boxes below for more options:


01. Register for a Government Gateway account

Most business will already have a Government Gateway account, especially if you are VAT registered. You will need to log in and check if you have, or request access to, the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). If you do not have one, you can register for this by following this link. (opens in new window)


02. You must have an EORI number

Most businesses moving goods in and out of the UK already have one. If you don’t have one, you can apply for one at: Click here (opens in new window) Note: If you are VAT registered, then your UK EORI number needs to be linked to your VAT number. If you are now becoming VAT registered and have already been importing goods, then you will need to reapply for an EORI number, once you become VAT registered. If you are issued with a new EORI number, please inform us of your new number immediately.

03. Register for the Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

Once you have both of the above you then need to register for the CDS service, at: Applications can take up to 5 working days. Note: If you have already signed up to the Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) scheme, then you may already to registered for the CDS system, as this was required to log in and get you VAT statements.


04. Paying VAT and Duty

If we, at UK Import Services are already paying any VAT & Duty on your behalf and then invoicing for these Customs taxes.


05. If you have our own Duty deferment account (optional)

The new CDS system uses a separate HMRC bank account to CHIEF, so you’ll need to set up a new direct debit, by: clicking here (opens in a new window)


Don’t forget! You will also need to re-authorise us to use your deferment account, which can be done on the CDS Finance Dashboard.

IMPORTANT – If you do not implment these changes, then you may lose your ability to import goods into the UK.

It is for this reason that most people decide that they cannot complete it themselves and decide to use an agent or Customs broker.

This is definitely something that the team at UK Import Services can assist you with.

We can clear at most of the UK Container Ports, Ferry Terminals and Airports. We can even assist if you have recently purchased a vehicle from the Channel Islands, or if your parcel is held at the HWDC in Heathrow, and the UK Border Force has sent you a Notice of Arrival (with an SPP number).

Why not contact us today to see how we can help you and may be even save you money.

Please contact us by phone on 0345 309 6360, or email us at: for assistance and advice about completing a C88 form.



Alongside genuine reputable companies, there are some Customs clearance agents and Freight Forwarders, who claim that they can save you money on shipping costs and/or Import Duty & VAT, just by the way you raise your shipping documents, thereby, affecting what they declare on the C88, on your behalf. These methods are classed as fraud, and if caught, come with severe penalties.

Always ensure that you use a reputable* Customs agent/broker who can explain what details they have declared, or will declare, on your behalf.

You have probably read enough information by now, hopefully on our site, to know that the completion of the Customs Form C88 MUST be done in accordance with strict rules and Regulations laid out by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and all the other UK Governing bodies. It is for this reason alone, that you shouldn’t leave you goods to be cleared by just any Customs Clearance Broker or Agent that you find, or just because they shipped your goods to the UK.

*We recommend starting with a Company which is a member of BIFA (the professional organisation for the Freight and Shipping industry).

Contact our Imports Team on 0345 309 6360, or email us at: for our charges for clearing your goods through UK Customs, and possibly to also arrange the shipping of your good too.


Importing into the UK?
Contact us to see if we can help you.

Why not see if we can help with paying the excise duty to UK Customs

UK Import Services Limited
Global Shipping and UK Customs Broker

PO Box 832
United Kingdom

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Disclaimer: UK Import Services Ltd is not responsible for any content or advice given in any external site and we are not endorsing or promoting any product or company referred to on our site.

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