International Trade and Customs Planning

Customs duty is a form of taxation which, in many companies, is not fully considered in tax planning or cost management. Duty costs are rarely disclosed as a separate entity in normal business accounting procedures. They lie as part of the cost of the goods. This is an area where an automated system can help, by compiling data not previously available from manual records, thus making it easier to establish true costs and identify areas where savings can be made.

The reporting of Customs information for statistical purposes represents a considerable burden on businesses large and small, this is true whether the information is reported for intra-EU trade (Intrastat) or for trade with the rest of the world. As we move rapidly to an environment where electronic commerce is becoming the norm, many companies are able to take advantage of existing transaction data in order to supply detailed information to HM Revenue & Customs.

Planning Considerations

Businesses should take the following factors into consideration prior to undertaking any Tax or Duty planning:

  • Company compliance with relevant Customs legislation
  • Efficiency in company operations
  • Opportunities in reductions of duties
  • Improving the cash flow
  • The technology to keep abreast of changes
  • Up to date knowledge of Customs Developments


Compliance with HM Revenue & Customs Regulations is under all circumstances the ultimate responsibility of the trader.

The importer or exporter cannot outsource the responsibility to a third party.

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