The time taken to clear goods is dependent on certain information provided to Customs on the import declaration. Upon arrival into the UK, for example, UK Customs (HMRC) will assign a ‘route’ to the entry. Below is a list of the most common routes, and the approximate time it takes for clearance to be issued.
Route 1 – This is a full documentation check whereby customs require sight of original paperwork for a detailed check of the declaration, this can take up to three working hours to clear. The time starts when customs receive your paperwork.
Route 2 – This is a customs examination as well as document check. Customs require original paperwork before they request the container be presented and out-turned for examination. There is no time limit allocated to this routing as customs rely on the port service providers to present the container.
Route 3 – This route sees clearance being given within approximately 10 minutes. Customs still require us to present original paperwork within 24 hours. Although this type of clearance can be issued within 10 minutes we request customers allow one hour for clearance to be issued.
Route 6 – Instant clearance pending funds being in place for Duty and VAT. Usually clearance is issued within 10 minutes of the declaration being accepted. Customs do not require presentation of any documentation.