What happens if electronic customs clearance fails?

Since Brexit, the process of importing and exporting goods to and from the UK has changed considerably. Currently, as of March 2023, it is a requirement that all goods sent abroad have the correct electronic customs data provided at the time of processing. If this electronic data is incomplete, incorrect, or missing, it can result in delays or even a failed electronic customs clearance.

So, what happens if you receive a rejected or failed electronic customs clearance for your goods? What reasons can cause your clearance to fail and how can they be fixed? Here is our guide on what happens if you receive a failed electronic customs clearance.

What is electronic customs clearance?

Electronic customs clearance refers to the process of gaining approval from an official agency to send or receive goods to and from the UK. The process involves declaring the goods to customs authorities, paying any related duties and taxes, and ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations and shipping procedures. Electronic documentation that should be included with the goods includes a commercial invoice, a packing list and a signed export declaration. Without this information being provided electronically to customs ahead of time, your shipment may be delayed or rejected.

Why might you fail electronic customs clearance?

Here are some of the main reasons why your electronic customs clearance might fail:
• Failure to pay all the associated fees including duties, taxes, and processing costs associated with clearing your goods.
• Failing to enter the correct information on your electronic documentation, or not submitting any documentation.
• Not declaring certain goods when they are imported or exported, or declaring them incorrectly, causing them to fail security checks.

Any one of these issues can result in your items failing to clear customs and either being returned to you, or to the original sender.

How to fix any issues with your electronic customs clearance.

If your goods have failed clearance, then you may be able to fix the problem by doing the following:
• Ensure the accuracy of the information provided, in particular, if they include high-risk items such as fireworks, biological specimens, and so on.
• Include all relevant invoice information that shows the description of the goods, how many pieces are included and the total value.
• Include packing list information and your declaration corresponding to all items within your package.
• Ensure that all associated fees have been paid in full well ahead of time to avoid delays or rejection.

Using GFS for electronic customs declarations

One of the best ways to make sure your goods can clear customs electronically without hassle is with the help of qualified customs declaration agents. Here at GFS, we specialize in import and export documentation.

Our services include inventory linking, supplementary declarations, duty relief applications and more. Our team will ensure your goods are processed and cleared without any errors or penalties incurred. We also handle any supplementary documentation required for clearance. Get in touch with us today for our customs clearance shipment.

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