Import declarations can be blocked if your guarantee is inadequate
On 17 April, we are introducing transaction-based monitoring of reference amounts relating to guarantees provided for release for free circulation. Import declarations will be blocked if the reference amount set for a guarantee is inadequate. Thus, please ensure that the reference amount for your company’s guarantee covers customs duty and any other taxes and charges.
Swedish Customs’ handling of guarantees changes on 17 April. If your company has authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee, the charges in each import declaration will be entered against the reference amount that, for release for free circulation, has been set for the guarantee.
This changed handling means that import declarations will be blocked if the reference amount arranged for release for free circulation is inadequate. To prevent import declarations being blocked, it is important that you ensure the reference amount for the guarantee is adequate.
How much guarantee has my company provided?
If you are unsure how much guarantee your company has provided, you can check it yourself via the Guarantees e-service accessible via tullverket.se (Garantier – in Swedish only). In May, this service will be updated so that your company can also see, in real time, what charges have been entered against your reference amount. In other words, you will be able to see how much is still available for release for free circulation.
It is important that you ensure your company has an adequately high reference amount in relation to the guarantee you have provided. If you assess that the margin is inadequate, your company must appy for amendment as soon as possible. To submit an application for amendment, use the Application for authorisation and registration e-service on this website (Ansök om tillstånd och registrering – in Swedish only).
If your import charges are less than EUR 1,000, it may be that your company has a deferment of payment authorisation, but no authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee. In this case, your company needs to ensure that your future import charges do not exceed said value. If you calculate that they will exceed EUR 1,000 in any six-week period, your company needs to immediately submit an application for authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee.
How do I release goods that have been blocked?
If a declaration has been blocked because the guarantee was inadequate, there are various ways of unblocking it:
- Contact a customs agent who will accept payment responsibility for the declaration.
- Provide an individual guarantee to a customs clearance office at the border.
- Transiting the goods, if there is sufficient guarantee for that procedure.
- Split the declaration up. To the extent that your guarantee is adequate, clear chosen items through customs on one declaration. After the reference amount has been amended in accordance with one of the options above, clear the remaining items on another declaration.
- Increase the reference amount via an application for amendment in respect of a comprehensive guarantee. This option takes longer owing to administration time in your company, the bank and Swedish Customs. Thus, this is to be seen as a long-term solution preventing several transactions being blocked in the future.
- Pay the customs debt in cash. Either by depositing the amount in one of the Swedish Customs' accounts or by paying over the counter at a Customs clearance office.
- Pay a periodical customs bill that has not been paid.
- Store the goods in a customs warehouse.
- Re-export the goods.
What is the difference between guarantee and reference amount?
Are you finding it difficult to understand the difference between guarantee and reference amount? You can read about the two concepts here.
Here, a guarantee is a financial pledge that you have to provide to guarantee that debts to Swedish Customs will be paid. An undertaking from a guarantor (often a bank) to pay debts if you yourself do not pay them is an example. The legislation requires a guarantee to be provided in most cases.
A guarantee can be to cover a single event (a so-called individual guarantee). However, you can also provide a comprehensive guarantee for two or more events, declarations or procedures. You must have authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee.
The reference amount relates to how high a guarantee you need to provide if you have authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee. The guarantee amount must equate to a reference amount set by Swedish Customs. In your application for authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee, you must state a preliminary reference amount. The reference amount has to be set at the highest amount that customs duty and any other charges may amount to. If customs duty and the other charges vary over time, the guarantee amount must always be high enough to cover said duty and, where relevant, other charges.
If you have authorisation to use a comprehensive guarantee, you are obliged to monitor that your current reference amount is not exceeded. The reference amount is calculated slightly differently depending on if the guarantee is to cover existing debts (e.g. where there has been deferment of payment) or debts that may arise. This latter may be relevant where, for example, there are special procedures and temporary storage. Here, customs duty and other charges may arise if procedures or storage are incorrectly executed. Depending on your business operations, you may need to provide a guarantee for existing debts, debts that may arise or both these.
Provided that you fulfil certain conditions, you may be able to have your guarantee reduced. In such cases, you do not need to provide a guarantee for the entire reference amount. In transaction-based monitoring, amounts are entered against your reference amount and not against the guarantee you have actually provided.
What is updated: A few more ways of releasing the goods have been added.