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About Us

With over 50 years’ experience in all aspects of customs and duty, the expert team at The Customs People is in the best position to ensure your business operates efficiently and is compliant with all regulations relating to customs and excise.

We have a comprehensive understanding of the global import/export system and can provide a range of services aimed at helping your business in a friendly and personable manner. You can guarantee that your business will soon be operating on a model, which increases efficiency and maximises revenue within the customs and excise system.

Our services

If your business imports or exports through customs, we can help you to add value by helping you with the following:

  • Assisting in saving on the cost of duties

  • Maximising cash flow through HMRC’s many customs tax reliefs

  • Representing you on HMRC matters

  • Assisting you in obtaining AEO-authorised status

Other duties, such as anti-dumping duty and excise duty are “sticking” duties, which are irrecoverable and can significantly impact the bottom line profits of your company. Our customs duty consultants can also work alongside businesses to minimise expenses, ensuring costs are paid effectively.

Who We Help

The Customs People works with importers and exporters from a broad range of industries, regarding all customs matters and AEO accreditation. We are a team of experts with over 50 years’ experience in all aspects of customs and duty, meaning we are best placed to offer advice in this area.

Our friendly and knowledgeable consultants will work alongside your business to help you attain a better understanding of customs and duty processes. We will ensure your current system is financially beneficial for your business. We can also represent clients when appealing HMRC decisions.

We also provide complete guidance and assistance throughout the entire AEO application process for importers, exporters and logistics providers within the international supply chain.

How we work

When assessing your current customs structure, we concentrate on three key factors:

  • Commodity codes

  • Valuation

  • Reliefs

We work predominantly in the UK, however, we also work with many companies across the European Union and have provided impartial expert advice for companies around the world, including the USA and Asia. We have a great deal of experience in helping people in diverse industries to get a better handle on their customs system.

Our expertise means we can assess your business whatever industry you operate in - and we will do so in the most efficient manner possible. Our clients include leading textile companies, sleeping bag manufacturers, aircraft companies, companies supplying UK government departments, heavy manufacturing and global food industries.

Service for Importers

Areas to Consider

In dealing with non-EU imports there are 3 broad areas of compliance and opportunity to consider for Customs Duty and Import VAT purposes. These are:

  1. Facilitation Schemes
  2. Commodity Codes of Goods Imported
  3. Valuation of Imports

Types of Facilitation Schemes

There are a number of facilitations schemes available that provide both an increase in cash flow as well as actual Duty and Import VAT savings. See the table below for the different types of facilitation schemes for importers:


Types of Facilitation Schemes



Reduced rates of Duty are available on imports of specified goods originating from 'preferential' trading partner countries within the EU. However, the rules for determining origin require close consideration.

Customs Warehousing

A trade facilitation scheme which assists cash flow management, predominantly of interest to businesses who carry stock for at least several months.

Excise Warehousing

Similar to Customs warehousing but for excisable goods such as alcohol, tobacco and oils. Excise warehousing may be available to importers of excise goods from both EU countries and elsewhere.

Inward Processing Relief

Designed to alleviate Customs Duty and import VAT where goods have been imported for processing and re-export. Beware though, the EU has recently tightened up on ensuring the conditions for using this scheme are met in full.

Returned Goods Relief

Goods of EU origin lose their EU status at export, and returned goods relief is a Customs Duty and import VAT relief for UK/EU goods re-imported following use abroad. This relief avoids double taxation on UK/EU origin goods, but there are of course conditions to meet.

Outward Processing Relief

Designed to minimise Customs Duty and VAT where goods are re-imported following process or repair.

Processing Under Customs Control

Relief from import Duty on some raw materials imported for manufacture (relief encourages businesses to manufacture rather than import finished products).

Reliefs for Specific Goods

Savings on importing specific goods, for example, civil aircraft and their parts, scientific instruments, research goods.

Temporary Import Reliefs

Including goods for testing and goods for exhibition purposes – these can be imported VAT and Duty-free.

Import VAT Relief

Import VAT can be relieved if goods are imported and then shipped to prior order within the EU.

The Customs People can provide proactive advice to determine whether facilitation schemes are available and if so, we can help importers operate in a compliant but effective manner.

Valuation & Commodity Codes

As detailed on our home page it is very important that importers act in a proactive manner since they are the responsible party for the information declared.

To that end, it is imperative that the importer is actively involved in both determining and advising the correct values and commodity code descriptions as these affect the rate of duty payable and amount of duty payable.

We can provide proactive advice in:

  • Determining the correct value that should be used for duty and VAT purposes (the rules being complex in some instances)
  • Assisting in the establishment of the most appropriate and beneficial commodity codes in order that all importers minimise their duty and VAT liabilities.

Contact Us

We will work alongside you to enhance your current duty and excised model, as well as finding opportunities to maximise revenue with importing and exporting. Contact us today for a no obligation discussion on how we can help your company. Call 0161 82 68 926, or fill out an online enquiry form and we will be in touch.