Planning & Implementation

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty” - Winston Churchill

The UK are currently going through a period of change in the customs environment. The UK:

  • Has left the EU but is in a transition period until the new trading arrangements with the EU are agreed and in place.
  • Will continue to comply with new European customs regulations which started to be implemented in 2016
  • Is implementing a new customs IT system.

These projects are all running in parallel and as such pose challenges for everyone involved.

How will these affect and impact your business?

We don’t have all the answers, no one does yet, but we do understand the potential implications and that they go beyond just the customs processes and procedures.

We always continue to use the word ‘customs’ when talking about importing and exporting but there are over 20 different government agencies/departments that can impact the movement through the border formalities. With our wealth of experience and partners we are able to support business with the majority of areas of importing and exporting but where we cannot, we know people that can!

Five Lanes Consultancy are well placed to assist companies in understanding the potential issues and opportunities and help them plan for the changes, minimise the costs and impact to their business.

In looking at the key activities it is important to understand:

  • Before taking advantage of the many opportunities to be more efficient and cost effective a trader must prove compliance.
  • A recognised way of proving compliance is to have Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status.
  • Having this status opens many doors to duty minimisation, trade facilitation, efficiencies and cost reduction opportunities.

In planning for the future we often identify opportunities to take advantage of customs trade facilitation procedures to help traders be more efficient and/or reduce customs costs. In a number of these cases it will be essential to apply to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to operate a procedure. Five Lanes Consultancy assists its customers throughout the process from completing and submitting the application forms, meeting the requirements, implementation of new procedures, processes and IT solutions, and, preparing for any audit or visit by HMRC.

Apart from having to meet the common customs requirements there are other key activities to achieve an effective import and/or export operation. Our relationships with our partners allow us to provide IT, Trading Standards and training support to our customers – a one stop shop!

We support you through every step of the process from APPLICATION to IMPLEMENTATION to successful authorisation.

To achieve Customs at the lowest lawful costs


“If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.”  - Charles (Boss) Kettering, American inventor, engineer and businessman

In planning for the future we do not look at just the opportunities from today’s available procedures, but drive forward and, in many cases, lead the way in innovative opportunities.

Customs and Trade cannot be seen as separate from each other. We work to understand both, identify the commonalities and bridge any gap to allow legitimate businesses and government to flourish. The latest customs legislation and the latest innovations both present opportunities to allow that to happen.

There are two main areas we focus on: 
Data not paper, and, 
Self-Assessment not declarations.

We believe that ’data’ provided electronically is the key to future improvements in compliance, optimisation of processes and procedures and more efficient operations.

We recognise the importance of providing data once and using it many times, therefore we focus not just on the regulatory requirements but also the business benefits through end to end supply chain visibility and improvements.

David, led the EU funded CORE project whilst with HMRC and continued to the end of this project proving the concept. Our partner CIF Consulting is now continuing the work on data pipelines through various projects, the aim is to practically demonstrate the benefits to cross border agencies of advanced supply chain data, deliverables will also include the Pipeline Data Exchange Structure (PDES) a structured format to exchange the data between parties and other pipelines.

By understanding that a standard data set and availability of such information is key to improved compliance, we see that the next step is to use this information.

David’s data pipeline concept, that he has been pioneering for over ten years, was delivered through the CORE project and two EU projects before that. The basis of the data pipeline is to capture the right data from the right source at the right time and use it for commercial and regulatory compliance purposes. Real time data tells those who need to know, what’s going on. Am I getting the right goods? Are they on time? Where are they?

The importance of having that accurate data available in the customer’s own systems, and not relying just on a Forwarder or Carrier, is reflected in the UK and the European Union’s call for “A simple and paperless environment for customs and trade" – data not paper. We are also driving the change towards businesses assessing the amount of import and export duty payable and performing certain controls under customs supervision (self-assessment).

Businesses will be able to lodge a customs declaration, (including a simplified declaration) in the form of an entry in their records, provided that the particulars of that declaration are at the disposal of the customs authorities in their electronic system. This waives the need for the goods to be presented and they are released at the moment of entry in the declarant's records.

These are new and exciting innovations, already in law, just waiting to be developed and put into practice. We understand the potential implications and that they go beyond just the customs processes and procedures.

Do you have any questions?

For questions or advice on any customs and trade matters get in touch today