Roles and responsibilities: when to refer to the Customs Policy and how
The aim of the ATA and Istanbul Conventions is to ensure that traders using carnets are treated in the same way in all the contracting parties. It is important that you work from the conventions and EU legislation as the common medium for all concerned, and use this guidance as an aid to understanding the law.
This guidance should help you take decisions without referring to the Unit of Expertise (UoE) or Customs Policy. Advice from these sources should only be needed where the facts are clear but where published guidance cannot be applied or does not give a clear answer.
In dealing with queries, it is important to find out the Department’s policy before coming to any conclusion. There are various sources and specialist officers who may assist you in dealing with any queries. These include:
- information in Notice 104 ATA and CPD Carnets (HMRC web)
- The Border Force aide memoir
- Customs Information Papers
- Seat notes
- experienced colleagues or technical experts.
If they are unable to resolve the matter, and the point of difficulty involves control, contacting the UoE by phone, email or fax may provide the best solution.
If the problem involves interpretation of policy or the law and cannot be resolved locally you should submit the case to Customs Policy using the Custom Policy Advice Request Form (Word 48kb).
You will need to confirm that you have consulted the relevant guidance.
Local offices and the National Advice Service must not refer traders directly to the UoE or to Customs Policy.
If a trade enquiry cannot be answered immediately by the VAT, Customs and Excise Helpline or the NCU the caller should be asked to submit the question in writing. The NCU or helpline may then refer it to the UoE if they need help answering the query.