Border Control Points (CPs) have emerged as a crucial component in fortifying the United Kingdom's biosecurity by serving as the first line of defence in the management of customs declarations. One key aspect of this control lies in the meticulous handling of customs declarations, a process integral to regulating the entry of goods into the UK.

Handling Customs Declarations as a Control Point

The foundation of efficient customs control involves the submission of customs declarations for all goods entering the UK. These goods can undergo clearance either at ports upon arrival or at inland clearance facilities. However, certain goods, such as plant life and animals, necessitate inspection before clearance, often leading to delays and additional handling.

Establishing a Control Point facilitates inspections to be conducted at a company's premises, streamlining the clearance process. Furthermore, the movement of goods directly to approved inland facilities under Transit allows customs clearance at those locations, utilising the Temporary Storage facilitation.

Operating as an External Temporary Storage Facility (ETSF) mandates the implementation of an electronic inventory system, ensuring seamless coordination with HMRC and other government bodies.

What is an Inventory Site?

Inventory sites encompass ports, airports, inland clearance sites, and External Temporary Storage Facilities (ETSF) operating a Temporary Storage CSP Inventory System. A Community Systems Provider (CSP), such as the Descartes Pentant solution, plays a pivotal role in facilitating secure and customs-approved links to HMRC's CDS system for electronic customs entry exchange and inventory management.

Temporary Storage – What Is It?

Temporary Storage, a HMRC facilitation, allows the storage of goods not yet customs cleared for up to 90 days. Authorisation for Temporary Storage sites is contingent upon various criteria, including physical layout, security measures, and release procedures. Additionally, these sites require an electronic inventory system accessible to HMRC, Border Force, and other government entities.

External Temporary Storage Facility (ETSF) – How Does It Work?

An ETSF operates as a Temporary Storage facility utilizing a CSP Inventory system, moving border clearance processes to the operator's inland location. Goods are transported under Transit directly to the customer's site, where they can be held for up to 90 days without customs clearance.

Roles in ETSF Operation: Two key roles govern the operation of an ETSF – the Shed Operator and the Agent. The Shed Operator, granted Temporary Storage authorization by the National Frontier Authorisation Unit (NFAU), oversees the site, ensuring goods are cleared before release. The Agent is responsible for making customs declarations linked to the Inventory Record on the ETSF's Inventory system.

ETSF Inventory CDS Flow: The process involves the creation of inventory records on the ETSF's Inventory system, linked to customs declarations. Agents require a unique identity or "badge" issued by the CSP for this process, along with customs software.

Transit and Authorised Consignee Status: For goods to end or begin Transit from a specific location, applicants must obtain Authorised Consignee status alongside their ETSF application. The New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) governs Transit, running parallel to customs clearance under Temporary Storage/Inventory.

The Descartes Pentant Advantage

Within the spectrum of available solutions, the Descartes Pentant ETSF Inventory system emerges as a beacon of efficiency. Designed specifically for truck movements, it initially targeted ro-ro clearances through Dover but has since found application at multiple ETSF sites operating at an individual truck level.

What sets Descartes Pentant apart is its bespoke design, offering a truck-centric approach in contrast to generic Sea and Air systems. Fully authorised and accredited by HMRC, this CSP solution boasts ongoing development, aligning seamlessly with the latest HMRC changes, facilitations, and legislations. Its deployment on CDS for imports, with an ongoing rollout for exports, solidifies its status as a cutting-edge choice for ETSF operations In essence, Descartes Pentant is not just a system; it is a paradigm shift in the landscape of border control and customs declarations, redefining the narrative of biosecurity in the UK.

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