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UK Customs Compliance

Alinea are specialists in UK customs regulations and their relationship to international conventions established by the World Customs Organisation and the World Trade Organisation, and provide advisory on areas such as tariff classification, customs valuation, temporary admission, freeports, and the application of Incoterms® rules, the world’s essential terms of trade for the sale of goods established by the International Chamber of Commerce. Our senior team of customs experts assist companies in improving efficiency, and using established customs procedures and terms defined within international trade agreements facilitate supply chain mapping and in certain cases reduce customs duty payable on the import of goods, and confirm compliance.

Alinea Customs is able to provide consultancy on all aspects of UK customs law and practice.

Alinea Customs Brokerage - IFE2022 graphics background.png
Alinea Customs Brokerage - IFE2022 graphics background.png


Entering goods into a customs procedure to suspend duty and/or VAT

There are numerous import and export customs procedures codes (CPCs) available to minimise or suspend for an allocated period, the level of customs duty and/VAT payable upon import into the UK, or to indicate that certain goods have left the UK for a temporary period for a specific purpose, and will return.

As these goods have not entered into free circulation, in the majority of circumstances they will remain under HMRC supervision, and may require an application for permission to use the customs procedure to be made in advance.

In most cases it is also advisable to provide instructions to the third-party agent in the recipient or exporting country to confirm cross-border compliance. ​


Apply to the government for a license to export goods that are otherwise legally restricted

​When exporting controlled goods, an export licence application must be made via the Export Licensing Unit or the Export Joint Control Unit, to obtain permission from the UK authorities for the goods to leave the country.

DIfferent types of licenses for controlled goods include:

  • An Open General Export Licence (OGEL)

  • An Open Individual Export Licence (OIEL)

  • A Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL)

  • A CITES permit

Types of licences and permits Alinea Customs can assist with application for include:

  • Cultural goods

  • Goods identified as endangered animal and plant species on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) list

  • Goods covered by the UK Strategic Export Control List

Alinea Customs Brokerage - IFE2022 graphics background.png
Alinea Customs Brokerage - IFE2022 graphics background.png



Global supply chain mapping to assess the level of duty payable on import into Great Britain, identify which nations have established free trade deals with the UK or export under General Specific Preferences (GSP) or GSP+, and report on the necessary supporting documents, and manufacturing processes which support a claim to preference.

This may encompass goods with wholly-originating status; a change of tariff classification in accordance with product-specific rules or; the value-added rule, based upon cumulation - a limit of the economic value of non-originating materials which can be used before a product is considered non-originating.

Alinea Customs also advise on claiming quotas.



Alinea Customs advise on originating status in relation to manufacturing processes, and the choice of an appropriate supplier's declaration to facilitate sales and distribution on a global basis.

Alinea provides consultancy on which countries have established trade deals with the UK, and how to provide compliant documentation to clients to support them in a preference claim for zero or minimise import duty, and which type of supplier’s declaration is required, for example:​​

  • Products having preferential origin status

  • Products not having preferential origin status

  • Bilateral cumulation

Alinea Customs Brokerage - IFE2022 graphics background.png


Confirm compliance across your customs transactions

In 90% of cases the transaction value will be based upon the use of method 1, the price paid or payable for the goods. However there are certain circumstances when this will not be possible, for example:

• Transfer Pricing – when a company sells stock that it owns to a subsidiary company

• Cross-border stock transfer between related parties - for example, between distribution centres or to an Amazon warehouse

• When sending or receiving samples or free of charge goods

• When sending or receiving replacement products

• When using a buying or selling agent

• When renting or leasing goods

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