The UK's customs agency has introduced a new tool that aims to streamline trade by making it easier for importers to ensure they are valuing their items correctly.
Launched by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Advance Valuation Ruling Service (AVRS) aims to provide more legal certainty for businesses by offering reassurances that they are using the correct customs valuation method.
Director of customs policy and strategy at HMRC Aidan Reilly said: "AVRS will make a real difference to UK importers by stripping away uncertainty and reducing their administrative burden. The new service legally guarantees the trader's valuation method is correct, making it quicker and easier to manage customs."
When importing goods into the UK, it is the responsibility of the trader to determine the value of their items in order to ensure they are paying the correct rates of Customs Duty and import VAT.
Traders will be able to apply online for an Advanced Valuation Ruling using the new tool, where HMRC will confirm that the method used to calculate the value is correct. Its ruling will be legally binding for three years, while the trader will be able to use this information to calculate the value of their goods on their import declarations.
It will bring the UK into line with other countries that already offer such services, including several of the country's free trade agreement partners.
There will be no mandatory requirement to use the service. After an application is made, HMRC will confirm receipt within 30 days and provide a finding on the correct valuation method within 90 days.
Legally binding decisions are currently offered for the following:
- Advance Tariff Rulings
- Advance Origin Rulings
- Binding Tariff Rulings
- Binding Origin Rulings
Mr Reilly added the AVRS "will complement our existing tariff and origin services to give traders more certainty on the cost of importing their goods, making it easier for them to budget".