Keep HMRC on your side and money in the bank

Grace Reddish

HMRC might owe your business refunds since Brexit.

Think back to January 2021, the UK had left the EU single market and customs union and the way we were going to deal with customs felt unknown.

From a process that hadn’t changed in years, to suddenly moving to new trade rules and a brand new customs system – it’s safe to say it was, and still is a headache for many businesses.


CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) is currently the system that records the movement of goods by land, air, and sea and processes around three hundred million customs entries per year. When CHIEF was initially implemented it wasn’t set up to be digitised. Add Brexit to the mix it left many businesses confused, using incorrect data and missing important information.

Now with another change currently underway with the launch of CDS (Customs Declaration Service), there is no room for error, any issues can cause delay in arrivals by your goods getting stopped at borders, it can even lead to:

  • Not complying with customs rules & HMRC
  • Paying too much! (Let us help with a customs cleanse)
  • Not paying enough! If there’s no proof of acceptance of delivery by the consignee, you might have to pay extra charges

These issues have been created due to entry errors in declarations, most commonly the REX numbers and commodity codes.


Commodity codes, also known as tariff codes, are used to describe products that are being imported. They also calculate any tax, so you know the right amount to pay. Many businesses still continue to use the wrong commodity codes without realising.


EU suppliers now require a registered exporter REX number. All export invoices from the EU to the UK must show a statement of origin so that the preferential rate of duty can be claimed. If you import goods into the UK and your supplier’s invoice doesn’t have a valid statement of origin, then customs duty will be due on importation.

Our top tip? Cutting corners and over-simplifying a legal process isn’t worth the risk.


Why deal with more paperwork than you have to?

To help our customers navigate customs, and ensure you don’t incur any extra fees, Baxter Freight have partnered with Gerlach, who have over 140 years of experience in this field and a global team working to keep freight moving around the clock. Together with Gerlach, we put the processes in place to keep your customs compliant, so you’re not exposed to any risks and can even identify any refunds owed to you.


  1.  Audit
  2. Classify goods correctly and include their origin
  3. Get EORI registered – every shipment must have this to trade
  4. Get someone else to help (we can do this for you!)

If you want to know more about working the right way to get your goods through customs, get in touch and find out more about Customs Cleanse. You may even find you have duties to claim back too!

We have a team of experienced Account Managers who are happy to chat to you about these complexities, email us at:

Vehicle Types:

Vans: Short wheel-based, Long wheel-based, Extra- long wheel based

Luton vans: Curtainsider, Box, Tail lift, Flatbed

7.5 Tonnes – 18 Tonnes: Curtainsider, Flatbed Box, Rigids, Tail lift, HIAB, Moffett

Artics (44 Tonnes): Box, Tail lift, Flatbed, HIAB, Moffett, Curtainsider

Rigids: Tail lift, Flatbed, HIAB, Moffett

Specialised Vehicles/Trailers: Sliding Roof, Low Loader, Stepframe, Double Decker, Mega, Beavertail, Extendable Flatbed, Super mega Flatbed, Wafer Deck, Container Self-loading, Skeleton, Racked / Open floor trailer, Tanker, Silo, Swap Body, Jumbo (Wagon & Drag), Walking floor, Coil well, Stanchion, Hanging Garment, Frigo

We have access to an extensive network that offers a wide range of vehicle types. If you need something in particular, please do not hesitate to contact us.