A customs declaration is a form that is used by individuals or businesses to declare the goods that they are importing or exporting when they cross international borders. It is required by customs authorities in order to assess duties and taxes on the goods, and to ensure that the goods are legal to import or export. Customs declaration can be made in writing, electronically, or through the use of a specific software. The information that is typically required on a customs declaration includes the type and quantity of the goods being shipped, their value, the country of origin, and the purpose of the shipment. Customs declaration may also be required for goods that are being shipped within a country, but this is less common.

Who requires a Customs Declaration?

Customs declaration are typically required to be made by the person or business importing or exporting the goods. This could be the owner of the goods, a freight forwarder, a customs broker, or another authorised agent acting on behalf of the owner or importer. 


In some cases, the carrier of the goods, such as a shipping company or airline, may be responsible for making the customs declaration on behalf of the owner or importer.


It is important to note that customs declaration are typically required for all goods that are being imported or exported, regardless of their value or quantity. This means that even if you are only shipping a small number of goods or they have a low value, you may still be required to make a customs declaration.


In some cases, individuals or businesses may be able to use simplified customs procedures, such as a customs warehousing or inward processing system, which allow them to postpone or reduce the payment of duties and taxes on the goods until they are released for domestic consumption. However, these procedures still typically require the lodgement of a customs declaration.

Where should a customs declaration be submitted?

Customs declaration are typically lodged with the customs authority of the country where the goods are being imported or exported. This means that if you are importing goods into a country, you would need to make a customs declaration to the customs authority of that country. 

Similarly, if you are exporting goods from a country, you would need to make a customs declaration to the customs authority of the country where the goods are being shipped.

HMRC’ customs declaration software has replaced CHIEF. CHIEF is fundamentally different from the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) that is taking its place. You can see the difference between CHIEF and CDS here.

Why should a Customs Declaration be used?

There are several reasons why a customs declaration should be lodged when importing or exporting goods:


1. To assess duties and taxes: Customs authorities use the information provided on the customs declaration to calculate the duties and taxes that are applicable to the goods being imported or exported. This helps to ensure that the correct amount of duties and taxes are paid on the goods, which helps to protect domestic industries and ensure that the government is able to collect the necessary revenue.


2. To ensure compliance with laws and regulations: Customs declarations help customs authorities to ensure that the goods being imported or exported are in compliance with laws and regulations, such as those related to health, safety, and the environment. This helps to protect public health and safety and to prevent the import or export of goods that are illegal or restricted.


3. To facilitate trade: Customs declarations provide customs authorities with the necessary information to process and clear the goods for import or export. This helps to facilitate the smooth flow of trade and to avoid delays or disruptions at the border.


4. To prevent smuggling: Customs declarations help customs authorities to detect and prevent smuggling, which is the illegal import or export of goods in order to avoid duties and taxes or to evade laws and regulations.

Who will provide Customs clearance service?

There are various organisations providing customs clearance services having artificial intelligence tools and have built CDS software which helps you clear your goods in the matter of minutes. iCustoms is one such customs declaration service provider. Customs declaration software is a smart AI tool that is used to create and submit customs declarations electronically.


It is typically used by businesses and organisations that import or export large quantities of goods on a regular basis, as it can help to streamline the process and reduce the risk of errors.


Customs declaration software typically includes a range of features and functions to help users prepare and submit customs declarations more efficiently. This may include tools to enter and validate data, generate required documents, track shipments, and manage compliance with laws and regulations.


What benefits can a customs declaration software provide?

1. Using customs declaration software can help to speed up the process of making a customs declaration, as it can automatically check the data for errors and ensure that all required information is provided. 


2. It can also help to reduce the risk of errors, as the software can ensure that the data is consistent and complete. This can help to prevent delays or disruptions at the border, and to avoid the need for additional information or documentation to be provided later.


3. Customs declaration software can be a useful tool for businesses and organisations that need to make frequent customs declarations, as it can help to streamline the process and ensure that all necessary information is provided accurately and efficiently.


4. It can make speedy submissions of customs declarations making it an easy go!


5. It makes your trade compliant and regulated. 

So get your journey started and book a demo.


And your questions are welcomed at

About iCustoms

iCustoms is an all-in-one solution helping businesses automate customs processes more efficiently. With AI-powered and machine-learning capabilities, iCustoms is designed to streamline your all customs procedures in a few minutes, cut additional costs and save time.


🏆 Best Customs Software Systems - Shortlisted by International Chamber of Commerce Awards

Best Customs Software Systems
Finalist - International Chamber of Commerce Awards