Level 3 Certificate in Customs Compliance

Institute of Export & international trade


£980 VAT exempt
Study method
Online, self-paced
160 hours
Access to content
1 year
Level 3 Certificate

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This intermediate qualification is designed to provide you with sufficient knowledge to prepare and lodge customs declarations with HMRC. On successful completion of this qualification you will have a comprehensive understanding of customs processes and procedures, including import, export and special procedures. You will also gain a sound understanding of the core compliance areas of classification, origin, valuation and duty calculation, and comprehensive knowledge of import and export declaration procedures and requirements. By the end of your studies, you should feel confident working in an international trade environment, be able to prepare customs declarations, and have a clear awareness of the resources available to you to effectively manage customs risk.

Note: this is the minimum qualification considered necessary to prepare and lodge customs declarations with HMRC.

Designed to fit around a full-time career, it allows students to study online with innovative e-learning tools including the UCC Navigator and Declarant Assistant; hyperlinks to reference sites; videos; examples; and step-by-step guides for putting the theory into practice.

The Certificate in Customs Compliance consists of six modules:

  • Customs Law and Regulation
  • Customs Processes and Procedures
  • Tariff Classification
  • Rules of Origin
  • Customs Valuation
  • Customs Declarations


Level 3 Certificate
Awarded by Institute of Export


Customs Law and Regulation

In this module you will acquire knowledge of the customs law as it currently stands and gain an insight into what is likely to change post-Brexit. This includes an introduction to the Union Customs Code and related legislation, an examination of the way in which customs law is structured, and the different types of customs regulation. This task is greatly simplified through the use of our web-based UCC Navigator.

By the time you have finished this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of customs legislation and regulation
  • Know how to find legal provisions relating to different aspects of international trade
  • Explain how key aspects of customs law apply to practical situations relating to cross-border trade

Customs Processes and Procedures

In this module we examine the various customs processes and procedures that international traders are required to comply with. This includes the processes and procedures relating to the entry of goods, exit and export, release for free circulation, and the special procedures relating to transit, storage, processing and specific use.

By the time you have finished this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the different types of customs procedures
  • Explain the processes relating to the entry of goods
  • Understand the situations in which special procedures may be used

Tariff Classification

In this module we explore the concepts and procedures relating to the Harmonized System, and the knowledge and skills required to effectively classify goods for customs purposes. This includes the classification structure, the classification process, and the use of online databases.

By the time you have finished this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the way in which the Harmonised System is structured
  • Understand the rules of interpretation
  • Classify goods for customs purposes

Rules of Origin

In this module we examine how origin is established for customs purposes, including preferential and non-preferential origin and the importance of origin in determining the conditions under which goods may be traded internationally. We examine the rules under which the economic nationality of goods are determined; the methods of determining the origin of goods; and methods of proving the origin of goods for customs purposes.

By the time you have finished this module you will be able to:

  • Explain the rules relating to the origin of goods
  • Distinguish between preferential and non-preferential origin
  • Determine the origin of goods using the appropriate methodology, including cases where the goods have been produced or processed in multiple countries

Customs Valuation

In this topic we examine the way in which imports and exports are valued for customs purposes and the way in which terms of trade influence the valuation process. We examine the legal framework regarding customs valuation; procedures relating to customs valuation; explain the primary method of calculating the value of goods for customs purposes; describe the circumstances in which the primary method may or may not be used; and discuss the secondary methods of calculating the customs value of goods.

By the time you have finished this module you will be able to:

  • Explain the legal framework regarding customs valuation
  • Understand the primary method of valuation
  • List the secondary valuation methods and identify when it is applicable to use them.

Customs Declarations

Here you will apply the knowledge gained in earlier topics to learn how to prepare and submit customs declarations for exports and imports, including for safety and security purposes. This includes the data elements required to calculate import duty, where appropriate. Particular emphasis is placed on Customs Procedure Codes. It provides a practical approach to the completion of declarations that is greatly simplified through the use of our web-based Declaration Assistant.

By the time you have finished this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the Single Administrative Document
  • Know how to complete a customs declaration
  • Understand the various Customs Procedure Codes


No formal qualifications are required for entry into this course. However, for those who have little prior experience in customs matters, it is highly recommended to firstly undertake the Level 2 qualification - Customs Practice & Procedure Award.

Questions and answers


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What does study method mean?

Study method describes the format in which the course will be delivered. At courses are delivered in a number of ways, including online courses, where the course content can be accessed online remotely, and classroom courses, where courses are delivered in person at a classroom venue.

What are CPD hours/points?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. If you work in certain professions or for certain companies, your employer may require you to complete a number of CPD hours or points, per year. You can find a range of CPD courses on, many of which can be completed online.

What is a ‘regulated qualification’?

A regulated qualification is delivered by a learning institution which is regulated by a government body. In England, the government body which regulates courses is Ofqual. Ofqual regulated qualifications sit on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which can help students understand how different qualifications in different fields compare to each other. The framework also helps students to understand what qualifications they need to progress towards a higher learning goal, such as a university degree or equivalent higher education award.

What is an ‘endorsed’ course?

An endorsed course is a skills based course which has been checked over and approved by an independent awarding body. Endorsed courses are not regulated so do not result in a qualification - however, the student can usually purchase a certificate showing the awarding body’s logo if they wish. Certain awarding bodies - such as ABC Awards and TQUK - have developed endorsement schemes as a way to help students select the best skills based courses for them.


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