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Notice to Importers 2902 issued on 27 April 2018 by Import Licensing  Branch (ILB)


1. This notice sets out the EU revised prior surveillance import licensing arrangements covering imports into free circulation within the EU of aluminium and steel products listed in Annex A. It replaces all previous notices.

2. An import licence is required for aluminium entries made on or after 12 May 2018.

3. You do not need a prior surveillance import licence if:

a. For each licensable commodity code that you import under, your products per shipment have a net weight of under 2500 kilos (under 5000 kilos if the licensable commodity code falls to 7318), or

b. your products were made in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, or

c. your products are not entered into free circulation but into a Customs relief scheme. An importlicence is required if the products are subsequently imported into free circulation in amounts with a minimum net weight of 2500 kilos (5000 kilos for commodity codes under 7318).

d. For aluminium imports with an entry date prior to 12 May 2018.

Prior surveillance import licence

4. Licences can be applied for up to four months in advance and are issued free of charge. Licences are valid for four months from the date of issue and can be extended once for an extra four months if not fully used. This extension can be made via the extend licence function in the actionscolumn on the search import applications screen. Please note that a licence can only be extended when it is within a month of its original expiry date and cannot be extended once it has expired.

5. Your licence remains valid, and does not require amendment, if the total value and/or net weight shown on the import licence is within 5% of the Customs declaration.

6. If you are importing into the UK from outside the EU, an Electronic licence will be sent directly into the Customs CHIEF system. The licence can also be found in your ICMS account.

7. If you are importing into another EU member state, a digital copy of your import licence will be sent to your ICMS account. If you need to print the licence, please use plain white paper. The European Commission have confirmed that digital licences are valid throughout the EU and there are no hand signature or security paper requirements.

Applying for a steel prior surveillance import licence

8.Open an account at From your account, make an importer access request. Once approved you will be able to request licences. An agent can do this for you but you must open an account first so the agent can be linked to your account. Your agent must also open an account and request to act as your agent.

9. You will need to provide:

a. Product name,

b. commodity code,

c. product volume in kilos,

d. product value in euros on a CIF (Cost plus Insurance plus Freight to the EU border) basis.The application form has an auto conversion from £ to €. If converting from any other currency, please first convert into sterling using the rates shown on the HMRC website: (which determines value for duty purposes).

e. where the products were made,

f. where the products were shipped from.

10. You will need toupload documentation showing your intention to import, e.g. your pro-forma invoice, sales contract, etc. We will contact you if we require additional information. If you do not know the correct tariff code for your import, contact the UK HM Revenue & Customs Classification Service for advice at or use the online trade tariff: “

11. Commodity code changes to issued licences Tariff codes can change and may affect importlicences already issued but not yet used. If you find that the tariff code you use is no longer on the system, please contact HMRC’s tariff classification team or use the online trade tariff,, to check that your code is still valid before contacting ILB.

12. You can submit a “variation” on ICMS via the search screen if you have had an import licence issued and the commodity code has changed. Please note though that this can only be done if the licence has not been used at all. Unfortunately, in most cases it is quicker to simply request a new import licence.

Using your Electronic Import Licences on CHIEF

13.The following information needs to be entered on CHIEF:

CHIEF issues

14. ILB cannot resolve problems that you encounter when making entries against import licences on Customs CHIEF system. You or your shipping agent will need to contact CHIEF OPERATIONS directly for Known issues and solutions are:


15. Guidance on all stages from account opening to requesting licences is available on the front screen at ANNEX B (pages 8-10) of this Notice contains a Q&A on the detail of this regime. This document is for information purposes only and has no force in law. Please note that where legal

advice is required, you should make your own arrangements.