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Customs Declaration Service: have you been charged twice?


Published: 22 Mar 2023 Update History

A recent major incident with the service has caused some declarants to make import declarations twice, meaning taxpayers may have been charged twice for the same movement.

From 7 March to 16 March 2023, HMRC experienced an issue that affected some import declarations submitted through the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

Although approximately 97% of declarations were processed as normal, declarations linked to certain commodity codes got “stuck” within CDS.

HMRC is currently carrying out a review of the incident to assess what went wrong. As part of this review, HMRC has found that some declarants made duplicate declarations for the same movement.

This may lead to customs duty and import VAT being paid twice.

HMRC is urging declarants to check their records to see if payment has been made twice for the same movement. If it has, they will need to submit a C285 form to get a refund.

Traders who were unable to get a movement reference number for a pre-lodged declaration during the incident will need to manually “arrive” their declaration.

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