Find out how to request and buy Customs Declaration Service data from HMRC if you're a company that imports or exports goods.
When a customs audit takes place, HMRC holds records of actual data entered and raises demand on duties for imports not recorded in the trader’s records but actually declared to customs. This can happen when an agent fails to make a correct declaration.
It’s your responsibility to correctly declare goods and only negligible liability is placed on your agent. If you’re a larger trader with multi-site operations, you might find it difficult to keep records of imports or exports due to the number of different locations and agents.
Customs Declaration Service data helps simplify and improve the accuracy of your records. For example, by giving accurate figures for the total amount of duty paid against value of goods entered.
What information is in a report
There are 4 reports available, covering:
- import item
- import header
- import tax lines
- export item
These reports should meet the needs of most HMRC customers.
The reports are sent to a named responsible person in your business.
Not all data items on the Customs Declaration Service can be purchased in the reports. There is information on the system which cannot be released because it could compromise HMRC control activities.
Descriptions of the data available can be found in Customs Declaration Service data import and export descriptions.
Example of Customs Declaration Service reports
You can use the following examples of import and export data (given in the entry item format) to help you decide if a Customs Declaration Service data subscription will benefit you.
This is not real data. It should only be used for the purposes of these examples.
Minimum sign up for monthly and one-off reports
You can request both ongoing and one-off reports.
If you request ongoing reports, you must sign up to receive them for a minimum of 12 months. For example, if you sign up in January 2022, you will receive ongoing reports from January 2022 to December 2022. Backdated requests cannot be accepted.
After 12 months, you’ll be sent a renewal email notification and invoice for you to sign up for another 12 months. If you do not want to renew, email: email@example.com
You can request one-off retrospective reports, the earliest period that can be provided is from January 2020 onwards.
How to request a report
If you’re a trader
Complete the Customs Declaration Service agreement and upload your covering letter on the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) agreement form.
If you have signed up for Management Support System data reports, then as part of that MSS data subscription you will receive Customs Declaration Service data reports. If you have any questions email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re a third party
Complete the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) agreement form indicating whether you are a third party.
You must upload a:
- Covering letter
- Signed letter from the company who owns the EORI numbers
If you have signed up for Management Support System data reports, then as part of that MSS data subscription you can request Customs Declaration Service data reports for free.
You should use this Customs Declaration Service agreement checklist to make sure your application is correct and includes all the information needed.
You must include a covering letter which:
- is on company headed letter
- is signed by the authorised person
- has the dates or month the applicant requires historic or ongoing data to cover or begin
- uses the standard wording in section 5, Schedule D — example of a covering letter, of the agreement including the information in the square brackets and relevant wording in the curly brackets
How the data is sent to you
Reports are sent by email to the nominated person, normally as an Excel spreadsheet. If the Excel spreadsheet is too large then they will be compressed as a zip file, so you need to make sure you can receive compressed zip files by email.
If you agree to receive the reports by email, HMRC will not be responsible for the security of the information once it has been sent to you.
- A single report will be provided for the agreed duration of the agreement, at a cost of £240 plus VAT per year.
- Any additional reports will be provided at an additional cost of £240 plus VAT per year.
- A purchaser who requires all 3 import reports will have to pay £720 plus VAT per year.
- A purchaser who requires all 4 reports will have to pay £960 plus VAT per year.
- Data will be provided each month from the point of acceptance to the scheme.
- Should the purchaser require a report for historical data before the date of sign up, then this report will be charged at a rate of £240 plus VAT per year. The earliest period that can be provided is from January 2020 onwards.
- Where reports are requested for a period covering less than 12 months charges will be applied at a pro-rata monthly rate of £20 plus VAT.
Before you start
Decide whether you require ongoing monthly reports;
If you also / alternatively require Data from January 2020 onwards identify the date range over which you require the Data;
Identify what type(s) of report you require:
- Import Item report
- Import Header report
- Import Tax Line report
- Export Item Report
1. The Purchaser should tick the relevant box to indicate whether their request is for a monthly continuing supply of Data or for a specific historic time period (tick both boxes if both apply)
2. Each report required under the terms of this Agreement should be clearly selected by ticking the relevant box.
3. The Import Tax Line Report only reports items on which a Customs Duty (including Agricultural Section Duties) or Anti-Dumping Duty Tax Type has been declared. Items subject to VAT only will not appear on this report.
- Schedule A: Description of service and Data to be provided by HMRC
- Schedule B: Terms and Conditions
- Schedule C: Acceptance of Terms and Conditions and Data Request Form
- Schedule D: Example of a covering letter
Start now to apply for CDS reports.
For more information on these data reports, email: email@example.com.