Trading Standards issues guidance to forwarders
From 23 February 2015 a new process was implemented for goods arriving in the UK from outside the European Union, so that import entries are now subject to Trading Standards assessment, in addition to, but not to be confused with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) assessment.
Information received from Trading Standards states that a large number of emails from forwarders, containing the relevant documentation for assessment, are being sent to the incorrect email address or being sent to several email addresses, including the National Clearance Hub (NCH), who are not relevant for Trading Standards assessments.
Trading Standards stress that this is creating unnecessary work for themselves, and the NCH, causing confusion and adding to workloads. The combination of these factors are leading to avoidable delays in the processing of entries, with consignments being detained longer than is either necessary or appropriate.
This means that the need to send documentation to the single point of contact (SPoC) via the NCH can be avoided.
The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has received guidance that, whilst Trading Standards have been relatively tolerant towards forwarders not following the correct procedure, from now they will be taking a more robust approach to ensure compliance in line with the correct procedures.
Both the GOV and Suffolk County Council websites provide guidance and information regarding the correct process to be followed. See below.
- Single point of contact for border controls of non-food products
- Customs Information Paper 7 (2105) - New arrangements for import entries subject to Trading Standards controls
- Customs Information Paper 20 (2015) - Import entries subject to Trading Standards controls
Forwarders must note that future emails containing documentation for assessment, sent to the wrong email address or sent to several email addresses, may result in the email being deleted without any clearance action being taken.