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HMRC internal manual

Customs Authorisation and Approval

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Customs Decisions in relation to authorisations and approvals: Accepting an application

Article 22(2) of the Code requires customs authorities to confirm acceptance of an application within 30 days of receipt providing it meets the requirements necessary for acceptance.

Details of the checks to be undertaken prior to acceptance of an application can be found in section CAA09060.

If the customs authority establishes that the application does not contain all the information detailed in section CAA09060 they shall ask the applicant to provide it.   This request for further information must be made within 30 days of the initial application being received.

The customs authority must include within the request:

  • Details of the information to be provided
  • A time limit within which the further information must be submitted.

The details of the information request should be captured on the template form provided in section CAA09080.

If the applicant fails to submit the necessary information within the set time limit, the application cannot be accepted.

If the application passes the acceptance checks a formal notification of acceptance shall be sent to the applicant.

See sections CAA02030 and CAA09060 CAA09110 for details on the checks and processes to be followed for the acceptance and refusal of applications.

The official date of acceptance is the date on which all the information necessary to meet the acceptance conditions was received.  This official date of acceptance starts the clock for reaching the decision on the application.  For example:

Full information received upfront from the applicant Application queried for missing information
Application received by HMRC on 1 March Application received by HMRC on 1 March
Acceptance tests performed on 15 March Acceptance tests performed on 15 March
HMRC issues the acceptance letter to the economic operator on the 20 March HMRC writes to the economic operator to request additional information: 15 March
Official date of acceptance: 1 March Additional information received: 20 March
Clock starts (e.g., 120 days) for reaching a decision on the application: 1 March HMRC reviews information 25 March
  HMRC issues the acceptance letter to the economic operator on the 29 March
  Official date of acceptance: 20 March
  Clock starts (e.g., 120 days) for reaching a decision on the application: 20 March

Where neither a formal acceptance notification nor a request for further information is issued to the applicant then, on the expiry of the initial 30 day acceptance period (following the date of receipt) the application is automatically deemed to be accepted.  The clock starts for the ‘decision’ period on the date the application was initially received.  For example:

The application is received on 1 March.

  • No acceptance, refusal (see section CAA02030) or request for information letters are issued to the applicant by 31 March.
  • The application is deemed to be accepted on 1 March.
  • The decision clock (for example, 60 days for a customs warehousing application) is backdated to 1 March (in this scenario it would only leave the authorising officer 30 days to take a decision on the application.

A template letter for notifying applicants of the acceptance of their application can be found in section CAA11030.

A copy of the letter must be attached to the original application and retained within the economic operator’s file.