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What is a DDA?

Duty Deferment is the main payment method for customs and excise duty. It can also be used to pay import VAT. Having a duty deferment account lets you defer payments for customs duty, excise duty and import VAT. It also lets you make monthly payments to HMRC through Direct Debit, instead of paying for individual consignments immediately at import, or when released from a duty suspensive procedure such as customs warehousing or excise warehousing. If payments are above £20million this will need to be paid by CHAPS.

When should I apply for a duty deferment account when using delayed declarations in GB?

If your client imports non-controlled goods into Great Britain from the EU and they use delayed declarations, they will need to have access to a duty deferment account when submitting their first supplementary declarations. Your clients will have 175 days to attain a DDA and submit a full declaration from the day the goods arrive in GB (See “What do I need to apply for a DDA” below).

Either you or your client must also be authorised to use Simplified Customs Declarations Processes and have a DDA.

If you are applying for a Simplified Customs Declarations Processes (SCDP) authorisation, you will need to own an approved DDA from HMRC. It is important that you apply for a DDA as soon as possible because you will not be able to submit your client’s supplementary declaration unless you have an HMRC approved DDA. You can then choose to use your DDA on behalf of your clients or encourage them to apply for their own DDA (see ‘Using your client’s DDA’ below). If they already have their own DDA you as an agent can be authorised to use their DDA.

When we have all the information to process a DDA application for GB, we will aim to complete this within 30 working days. As part of the process you can also apply for a GB guarantee waiver. However, if you need to apply for a financial guarantee, this may take longer. You must apply for your DDA and Simplified Customs Declarations Processes authorisation in good time to meet the 175-day deadline for supplementary declarations.

See GOV.UK for more information on delayed declarations.

If you require your clients to apply for their own DDA, they will also need to apply in good time to meet the 175-day deadline. You can also use their DDA to submit their supplementary declaration if they give you their authority to use their account.

If you are using a Postponed VAT Account (PVA) for import VAT you do not need to use deferment. You must already have, estimated the import VAT, declared that estimate on the relevant VAT return and use Postponed VAT Accounting to adjust that estimate.

What do I need to apply for a DDA?

In order to successfully attain an account, you must meet certain authorisation criteria. Once your application is successful you will be sent a Deferment Approval Number (DAN). The DAN used for declarations will be either yours or your clients and must always be quoted on all declarations.

All account holders must continuously satisfy the authorisation criteria in place, even after your application is successful. When making an application, you will need to provide information about your business such as an EORI number, Business Address associated with your EORI number, correspondence address; and you might require your VAT number (VAT numbers are usually not required for DDA).

To find out more visit GOV.UK for the complete Guidance on how to apply for a DDA in Great Britain.

Using your client’s DDA

Once your client has their DDA please advise them to provide written authority to HMRC before you use their DDA. The GOV.UK website has the guidance your clients will require to give you authorisation to use their deferment approval number.

Further resources for clients who don’t know about DDA

There is more information, videos, and webinars available about this process and what is required on HMRC’s YouTube channel and help and support page.

Watch our handy video on how to use the online trader tool to help you identify which authorisations are suitable for your business. You can find customer support packs including a personal supplementary declaration planner on GOV.UK.

You can help spread the word to your usual clients by advising them to register to get updates directly to their inbox. There is more available on the GOV.UK site on How to use your Duty Deferment Account.

You can also call the Trade and International Trade helpline on 0300 322 9434 who are available from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm on weekends.