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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Penalties for VAT and Excise Wrongdoing: In what circumstances is a penalty payable: Handling goods subject to unpaid excise duty

Excise duty must be paid on goods at the excise duty point unless the duty has been deferred.

A penalty is payable by a person if

  • the person handles goods that are subject to excise duty, and
  • at the time the person handles the goods the excise duty has not been paid or deferred.

Handling goods means

  • acquiring possession of them
  • being involved in the carrying, removing, depositing or keeping of them, or
  • otherwise dealing with them.

A person is not liable to a penalty if they have a reasonable excuse, see CH92000, for non-deliberately handling the goods with unpaid excise duty.

For examples see CH91600.