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HMRC internal manual

Customs Authorisation and Approval

Overview of customs regimes and procedures requiring prior authorisation or approval: Regular Shipping Service

A Regular Shipping Service is a ‘service’ that carries goods in vessels that only ply between Union ports. The vessel may not come and go or call at any points outside the customs territory of the Union or in a free zone of a Union port in that territory.

A shipping company requiring this authorisation must:

·        Be established in the Union

·        Fulfil criteria of article 39(a) of the Code (Customs and other tax compliance (related to the economic activities of the applicant))

·        Ensure that the vessel only calls at Union ports

·        Ensure that no transhipments take place at sea.

·        Provide the following details to the decision making customs authority: names of the vessels ports of call; port where vessel starts its operation as a regular shipping service and any amendments that will change the authorisation

The following benefits are available to shipping companies authorised to establish regular shipping services:

·        All of the goods on board the vessel are treated as union goods

·        Ability to apply for an authorisation for Electronic Transport Documents as a Transit Declaration for maritime movements, please see CAA03300 and the EU Transit Manual for details).

The Code has not introduced any additional authorisation criteria.