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When we select your goods for inland pre-clearance checks

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When we select your goods for inland pre-clearance checks

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Find out how inland pre-clearance checks affect you and what you need to do when we carry out checks on your goods.

HMRC may select your goods for inland pre-clearance checks if you池e:

  • a business importing goods into the UK
  • acting as an intermediary for imports to the UK

We select goods for checks to make sure everything relating to your customs declaration is correct before we release your goods.

We use inland pre-clearance to conduct our checks away from the border to reduce congestion.

What the checks include

The checks may include:

  • an examination of your declaration and supporting documents
  • an examination of your goods
  • sampling of your goods

What happens when we select your goods

  1. Your goods arrive in the UK and we select them for checks.

  2. We move them from the place of importation to one of our inland locations.

  3. We email you to invite you to the checks and set a date.

  4. We carry out full checks on your goods.

  5. We tell you the outcome and what you need to do next.

  6. We clear your goods from customs controls ready for their release (if we have not seized them or called for a payment of security).

  7. You arrange collection of your goods.

Before the check

If we select your goods for checks we値l email you. Email will be our primary method of contact during the check process, but there may be instances where we may contact you by letter or phone. You値l need to follow all instructions communicated to you.

Before the checks you値l need to:

  • confirm you are content to communicate by email
  • confirm if you have authorised others to represent you
  • tell us if you want to attend the examination of your goods
  • give us information if we request it

If email is not your preferred method of communication, you can choose an alternative and agree this with us. The alternative options will be explained when we contact you.

If you choose not to attend, you can email us to nominate a person to go in your place. But if you do not reply within the time frame we set we値l still go ahead with the examination.

If you do not respond to our requests for information, then we may pause the check.

If you choose to attend the examination of your goods

You can either choose to attend, send a nominated person or attend with them. We値l agree with you a suitable date and time for the examination.

You値l need to:

  • give us the full names of those attending
  • have photo ID for attendees at the examination

If you are sending a nominated person, we may need to confirm whether they are authorised to represent you.

You must bring your own personal protective equipment (PPE), including safety footwear and a high visibility vest or jacket. You cannot attend without this.

How long checks may take

Checks may take up to 5 weeks to be completed. While many will be completed within this time, some checks may take longer. The time it takes starts with the selection of a consignment for checks and ends with the outcome of the checks.

The time it takes to complete checks depends on the:

  • type and quantity of goods we examine
  • amount of time you or your agent take at certain points in the process (for example, delayed replies to our questions)

We will keep you informed of the progress of the checks.

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