Act now: extend the payment period for import duty / import VAT
Last updated 14 April 2020
Duty Deferment account holders
If you are struggling to make payment of deferred customs duties and import VAT due on 15th April 2020, you should contact HMRC immediately to request approval and make arrangements to defer the payment for a further period or make partial payment.
The account holder should contact the Duty Deferment Office:
- Via telephone – 0300 059 4243
- Alternatively, call the HMRC COVID-19 helpline on 0800 024 1222.
Account holders will be expected to provide reasoning of why they qualify for a deferment as a result of COVID-19 and the impact on their business finances and cash flow.
Duty Deferment account holders will be able to use their accounts during the extended payment period agreed unless they default on a subsequent payment in that period, in which case HMRC may consider suspending their account. The outstanding payment will not affect their duty deferment limit so they will not need to increase their guarantee to cover the outstanding payment. Where HMRC agree to an extended payment period, interest will not be charged on the outstanding payments provided they are paid in full by the agreed date.
Duty Deferment non-account holders
A similar extension is available for registered importers who do not have a deferment account and pay cash or an equivalent.
HMRC will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis with the business asked to provide reasoning of why they qualify as a result of COVID-19 and the impact on their business finances.
You should contact the Customs Debt Policy inbox to apply via email here.
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