CFSP is the more common acronym for Customs Freight Simplified Procedures. It is a common term for an electronic system for imported goods into the EU. Not all goods qualify but there are benefits for those that do.
The main benefit in Europe is faster customs releases for goods outside of Europe. Customs clearance may take place inland rather than at the frontier. In the UK this is less of a benefit as the UK already has immediate ( Route 6 ) clearance. Where it can help UK importers is the use of simpler customs declarations and the easing on cashflow. If clearance can be handled under CFSP at an inland clearance depot is delays payment of duties and taxes.
Are Customs Freight Simplified Procedures mandatory
As a customs clearance scheme the use of simplified procedures is not mandatory. You may though find it a useful tool. There are two CFSP schemes.
- Simplified Declaration Procedure ( SDP )
- Local Clearance Procedure ( LCP )
Both schemes are designed to help different scenario’s LCP is useful if moving goods into storage and then releasing them to a customs procedure. This delays the payment of duties and taxes until there is a requirement to use the goods.
SDP is designed to remove goods from the frontier directly into a specific customs regime. A great example of this is regular perishable goods importers. Allowing full customs entry after the goods have moved from the frontier helps maintain the perishable supply chain.
These are examples and there are many other times when Customs Freight Simplified Procedures are worthwhile using.
How to get authorisation to use CFSP
To be an authorise user of Customs Freight Simplified Procedures you must receive authorisation from HMRC. To qualify the bare minimum you must acheive is :
- Registration as a sole trader, partnership or a limited company
- Have access to an electronic reporting system
- Have a registered Economic Operator (EORI) number
- Be a regular imports of third-party country goods
- Have a good record of compliance with customs and other official bodies.
- Be financially solvent.
- Maintain a set of documented records which Customs can accurately audit.
- Have access to a deferment account and CHEIF, Traders cannot pay in cash or other methods.
All of the above customs declarations can be provided by a freight forwarder. When choosing a freight forwarder it is best to work with one familiar with CFSP. Although not an exhaustive list CFSP providers from software to freight forwarders can be found on the GOV.UK website here.
A great guide for customs freight simplified procedures found here, written from a freight forwarders perspective.