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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: information powers: excise information notice: persons on whom a notice can be served

CEMA79/S118BA gives you the power to serve a notice on any person requiring them to provide documents that you reasonably require for the purpose of protecting, securing, collecting or managing excise duties.

‘Person’ has a wide meaning, see CH21580 for a full list.

In practice, you should not use s118BA to get information and documents from a revenue trader whose identity you know, instead you should use s118B.

Example 1

You can issue an excise information notice under CEMA79/S118BA to Cemantic Transport Ltd, a company that leases vehicles, for information about who is renting certain vehicles, where the lessees are suspected of being involved in the movement of excise goods.

However, if Cemantic itself carries excise goods then it is a revenue trader and you would use powers under s118B to get the information you require. You would not issue an excise information notice under s118BA.

Example 2

You want information from The Bank of Freedonia about finance provided to a revenue trader.

The Bank is itself a revenue trader because it provides funds to someone involved in the trade of revenue goods.

You may consider that in this case the power under s118B is open to challenge and that a tribunal-approved notice, where the Bank has an opportunity to make representations, is required. You should consult the ECSM policy team before you take any action to issue a notice under s118BA.