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HMRC internal manual

Customs Authorisation and Approval

Overview of customs regimes and procedures requiring prior authorisation or approval: Authorised Banana Weighers

Following an audit which found widespread under declaration of the weight of bananas on entry into the customs territory of the EU the Commission introduced a requirement that all consignments declared for free circulation of dutiable bananas must be accompanied by weight certificates.  Regulation 402/2006 requires that all declarations for import consignments of dutiable bananas must be weighed and that the weigher is authorised for that purpose by the Customs authorities.

The approval holder must give prior notification of the weighing operation to enable the Customs authorities to verify the net weight on the basis of risk analysis, by checking at least 5% of the total number of weighing certificates presented each year, either by being present at the weighing of the representative samples or by weighing those samples themselves.

These certificates shall be drawn up on the basis of the results following the weighing of a sample of units selected for each type of packaging and for each type of origin.  The weighing of the bananas and the production of the certificates shall be performed by an economic operator approved for that purpose by Customs. 

The following benefits are available to economic operators authorised for Banana Weighing:

·        The status of Authorised Weigher allows the authorisation holder to perform and issue certificates for dutiable bananas.

Authorised Banana Weighers are granted a derogation (under article 6(3)(a) of the Code) from the obligation to exchange data electronically between customs authorities and economic operators.  The Banana Weighing Certificates may be lodged in a manual format in accordance with the agreed procedures for each Member State.

Where the Weighing Certificates are not held at the time of importation (for example, the time the goods are released from customs control at the border), the consignment must be released using the Simplified Declaration Procedure (SDP) or Inward Processing (IP).  Details of SDP may be found in section CAA03080.  Details of Inward Processing may be found in section CAA03110.

Imports who regularly do not hold the weight certificates at the time of border release will be required to hold a full authorisation for SDP (please refer to CAA03080) or apply for an inward processing authorisation (please refer to CAA03110).

Importers of bananas who, on an occasional basis do not hold the weight certificates prior to release, may be eligible to release the goods under SDP without holding a full authorisation using the occasional use arrangements. 

Alternatively the ‘authorisation on a customs declaration’ simplified inward processing procedures may be used.

The simplified processing procedures (authorisation on a customs declaration) regime may only be applied for 3 times per annum.  The value of goods entered to the procedure per annum must not exceed £500,000.