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  • Qing Chen

Maximizing savings with customs software

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

10 steps to reduce customs duty costs for small and medium-sized businesses



Small and medium-sized businesses can greatly benefit from reducing customs duty costs. The proper use of software can make this process easier and more efficient. This guide provides 10 steps to help finance teams assess their expenses and identify opportunities for savings and retrospective claims.

Step 1

Correct customs classification by using customs software, businesses can accurately classify their goods and ensure they are paying the correct amount in customs duties

Step 2

Take advantage of Free Trade Agreements (FTA): the UK has FTAs with over 70 countries that may offer lower or zero duties for eligible goods. Customs software can assist businesses in taking advantage of these arrangements by identifying eligible goods and applying the relevant agreement.

Step 3

Know what to deduct: customs software can help businesses determine which expenses are deductible, such as freight and insurance, to lower customs duties.

Step 4

Explore duty relief options: customs software can inform businesses of the five common duty relief schemes and other specific options available to reduce costs and risks.

Step 5

Consider tariff suspensions: customs software can assist businesses in applying for tariff suspensions, which can remove duties on imported raw materials and components not available in the UK.

Step 6

Streamline customs declarations by utilizing customs software: businesses can save money on agent fees and complete customs declarations in-house, streamlining the process.

Step 7

Automate customs management: customs software can automate the customs management process, saving time and resources while providing information for declarations and improving auditing control.

Step 8

Defer customs duties and VAT: customs software can help businesses defer customs duties and import VAT, easing cash-flow pressures and lowering guarantee costs by up to 45 days or more through solutions such as customs warehousing and duty deferment accounts.

Step 9

Collaborate with your supply chain: customs software can facilitate collaboration with suppliers and customers to reduce supply chain costs and maximize the benefits of customs planning.

Step 10

Make retrospective claims: customs software can assist businesses in making retrospective claims for up to three years by providing proof of case and supporting data files. Injecting significant cash back into the business has never been easier.

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