New service launched to make importing easier for UK traders


Hundreds of thousands of UK traders are set to benefit from a new service that makes it easier to import goods.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has today (27 April 2023) launched the Advance Valuation Ruling Service (AVRS), a new service that gives importers legal certainty that their chosen customs valuation method is correct.

When importing goods into the UK, traders must work out the value of their goods to calculate their Customs Duty and import VAT.

Traders will apply online for an Advanced Valuation Ruling where HMRC will confirm the method used to calculate the value is correct. It is legally-binding for 3 years and the trader will use this information to calculate the value of their goods on their import declaration.

The system is part of the government’s vision to deliver a modern, digital customs service, providing traders with peace of mind and making it simpler to work out costings ahead of shipments.

Aidan Reilly, HMRC’s Director of Customs Policy and Strategy, 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.

It 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.

The AVRS brings the UK in line with other countries, including some Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partner countries, who already offer such a service.

The UK currently offers legally-binding decisions for:

  • Advance Tariff Rulings – these provide legal certainty on the correct commodity code, which can then be used to determine the correct duty and taxes.
  • Advance Origin Rulings – these provide certainty on the economic nationality of goods, when importing and exporting. For imports, this provides legal protection against any UK customs authority challenging the country of origin of the product. There are two types of origin: preferential (which feature in the UK’s trade agreements) and non-preferential.
  • Binding Tariff Rulings – these provide legal certainty on the correct commodity code for importing into the EU or Northern Ireland.
  • Binding Origin Rulings – these provide legal certainty on the economic nationality of goods when importing or exporting from Northern Ireland.

Using AVRS is not mandatory. After an application is made for AVRS, HMRC will confirm the application has been accepted within 30 days and the correct valuation method within 90 days.

Traders can find more information about using AVRS on GOV.UK.

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