Guidance

Customs duty repayment claims aren’t protected under the UCC (CIP3)

Find out about the changes to applications for repayment or remission of customs duties previously protected under Article 881 of the Customs Code implementing regulations.

Introduction

Article 881 of Commission Regulation 2454/93 Customs Code Implementing Provisions (CCIP) allowed HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to accept incomplete applications for repayment or remission of customs duties.

The article also protected incomplete applications for an agreed amount of time to enable the outstanding information to be submitted.

Additionally, HMRC allowed this provision to be used where the application was based on the outcome of a future event, such as a pending court judgement.

Union Customs Code (UCC) and protective claims

The UCC and its Implementing and Delegated Acts came into force on 1 May 2016, replacing the Customs Code (Council Regulation 2913/92) and CCIP.

The provision previously available under Article 881 of the CCIP is not available under the new legislation, so there’s no legal power to protect claims from going out of time.

HMRC must:

  • check whether an application for repayment or remission is complete within 30 days
  • take a decision on accepted applications within 120 days of the date of acceptance of application

Existing claims which were protected before 1 May 2016 under Article 881 CCIP will be processed on their own facts.

Claims subject to litigation

Where an appeal has been lodged under Article 44 UCC against the notification of the customs debt, the time limits under Article 121 (1) UCC are suspended by Article 121 (3).

The suspension starts from the date on which the appeal is lodged and lasts for the duration of the appeal proceedings.

This suspension does not extend to further claims made on the grounds under appeal. Such claims will need to be refused and the decision to refuse added to the existing appeal proceedings, if you want further periods to be suspended under Article 121 (3) UCC.

This suspension only applies to entries where an appeal is lodged under Article 44 UCC against the notification of the customs debt.

It does not apply to appeals against other matters, for example an appeal against a classification code.

Time limits to submit applications under the UCC provisions

The time limits to submit applications for repayment or remission under the UCC provisions are within:

  • 3 years from notification of the debt for applications under Article 117 (debt not legally due), Article 119 (error by customs authorities) and Article 120 (special situation)
  • 1 year from notification of the debt for applications under Article 118 (Rejected Imports)
  • 3 months from the date the customs entry was accepted on the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight system (CHIEF) for applications made under Article 174 (invalidation of declaration)

Notification of the debt is either:

  • the date your customs entry was accepted on HMRC’s CHIEF system
  • the date when a C18 demand notice is issued

It’s possible for the debt relating to a single entry to be covered by both circumstances - part relating to the debt from the original entry, and part relating to the C18 where additional debt is identified.

In these circumstances, different time limits for the submission of the repayment of remission application will apply to the different parts of the debt.

Extensions to the time limits

An extension of these time limits can only be considered if exceptional or unforeseeable circumstances prevent you from submitting your claim on time, for example, where a fire or flood has destroyed your records.

You will need to contact HMRC to discuss whether an extension can be granted.

Contact

If you have further queries relating to the content of this Customs Information Paper, you can write to:

NDRC Team
National Clearance Hub
2nd Floor, West Building
Ralli Quays
3 Stanley Street
Salford
M60 9LA

You can also email ndrc.nch@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk, or Telephone: 03000 585 344

Issued on 6 February 2018 by Customs and Indirect Tax, Customs Directorate, HMRC.

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Published 14 March 2018