The future of Customs Clearance in the UK

The logistics industry is like a lot of  established industries is very slowly being dragged into the digital world.  AJF introduced its own API over 12 years ago the first small freight forwarder in the UK for its clients, when  no other small forwarder had one and larger shippers were using EDI.  Even today most shipping lines are only now creating customer portals and none of the have any form of API’s available for there clients.

AJF online facilities have continued to grow over the this period.  The role out of our customs clearance api and additions to the clients portal of a dedicated customs brokerage area will allow the submission and management of clearances a lot easier.

Part of this push to increase digitisation is due to us expecting to move from the old HM Customs Chief system to the new HM Customs Customs Declaration System(CDS). The new CDS requires more information from shippers and consignees and by having it submitted to us electronically helps reduce errors and speeds up the submission. Through the API and the port  clients will have the ability to do the following:

  • Calculation of Duty / VAT immediately
  • Check if commodity code is correct
  • Check if licences  or port health required
  • Advise if reduced rate of duty available
  • Download copies of C88’s and other documents for previous entries

There will be four ways to be able to send us the customs clearance information:

  1. By use of our API
  2. Using the bulk upload manifest tool in the client portal
  3. Entering manifest data by hand into the information into the client portal
  4. Sending us a spreadsheet in our required format by email of the manifest data

Options 1,2 and 3 will be a our preferred option with lower customs clearance charges being applied. Currently being tested by several of our clients. We will have available a spreadsheet to download which can be used in our bulk upload tool or you can create your own based on it. We plan to make these customs clearance improvements available to all of our clients by the end of June.