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HMRC internal manual

CAP imports

Import procedures: place of discharge

Every port, airport or any other place through which goods can be imported must be approved for customs purposes. These approvals require specific clauses relating to the premises where examination/sampling will take place. In particular such places must have facilities to enable:

  • all examinations to be undertaken within the terms and conditions of Health and Safety guidance and that any necessary equipment or protective clothing must be available for use by the examining officer
  • the quantity of goods to be accurately determined. Such approvals must specify, amongst other things, that any equipment necessary for weighing, measuring or otherwise taking account of the goods must be calibrated, maintained in a satisfactory condition and kept clean and free from contamination
  • the goods to be examined thoroughly in accordance with EU guidelines and without risk of deterioration
  • samples to be taken and stored in accordance with Departmental and health requirements.

The terms of approval are important as they:

  • enable importers to ensure the integrity of their product during the examination and sampling process
  • protect officers from subsequent complaints by importers that the product was contaminated or damaged as a direct consequence of an examination being conducted in unsuitable premises, and
  • allow all necessary assistance to be provided to enable customs to perform their statutory examination and sampling of selected goods.

General guidance on approvals can be found in the Wharf approvals (WHFA) and C7-12: Aerodromes Control guidance. A selection of model approval letters can be found on the CAP UoE Intranet site.