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HMRC internal manual

Customs Authorisation and Approval

Applying for Customs Authorisations and Approvals: Guidance on submitting an application

Before submitting an application to the Customs authorities for a decision, the economic operator should:

·        Consider whether to continue with the existing application under the Community Customs Code rules or apply for a new authorisation or approval under the new Code rules.  Please see section CAA04020 Transition Arrangements for more details.

·        Consider whether an application for Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status would be beneficial.  Please refer to section CAA06040 for details.

·        Verify that holding an AEOC authorisation is not a pre-condition of the specific regime or procedure concerned.  In these instances applications will be automatically refused where AEOC status is not held already or has not been applied for.  CAA06060 gives more details on this matter.

·        Check the conditions for the specific regime or procedure to verify if a guarantee is required in order to operate the regime or procedure.  Where a guarantee is mandatory the decision on the particular regime or procedure application will not be issued until the guarantee requirements are fulfilled.  Where the provision of a guarantee is mandatory, economic operators should refer to chapter CAA10000 for more information. 

Economic Operators may wish to submit their Comprehensive Guarantees applications before applying for any regimes or procedures requiring a mandatory guarantee.  This will provide greater visibility of the costs involved in applying for a regime or procedure.  It will also provide confirmation of any guarantee reductions or waivers the economic operator may be eligible for.

Where a comprehensive guarantee is intended to be used to cover more than one type of procedure or regime, full details on the amounts to be secured should be provided for each type of operation.  Please refer to chapter CAA10000 and sections CAA08060 for details of the supporting information to be supplied with the Comprehensive Guarantee application.

·        Familiarise themselves with the criteria and conditions for the particular type of authorisation or approval, these may be found in sections CAA07030 – CAA07330

·        Ensure they have the processes, records and internal management controls in place to satisfy the authorising officer that the procedure can be operates correctly and the criteria and conditions are met satisfactorily.  These should be documented and provided to the authorising office where necessary.

·        Make sure any requirements to communicate, store and provide access to electronic records are met, including the requirements for any stock records and inventory systems.  The Customs Traders (Account and Records) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/1203), schedule 1 provides details on the type of records which must be maintained for all customs matters.  Where specific records are a condition of authorisation or approval these are detailed in the Bespoke Criteria tables, please see sections CAA07050 – CAA07330 for details

·        Prior to completing the application form, ensure they have read any associated guidance notes, please see sections CAA08050 – CAA08280 for details.

·        Prior to submitting the application form, ensure that all the required boxes have been completed and all the necessary information has been provided, including any supporting documentation required.  For example, any procedure manuals, manufacturing recipes or origin proofs.

For economic operators who have a designated Customer Compliance Manager (CCM) or Tax Specialist for Customs matters:

·        Advice their CCM or Tax Specialist in advance that they intend to submit an application.  The CCM or Tax Specialist will advise the economic operator on whether to send the application to the location shown in sections CAA07020 – CAA07330 or to send the application to an alternative location.

Once the application has been submitted, the economic operator will be notified by the Customs authorities, no longer than 30 days after its receipt, whether the application has been satisfactorily completed, if all the necessary information has met the necessary acceptance conditions for its processing.

It should be stressed that this notification of acceptance does not constitute the authority or approval to operate the procedure.  Please see chapter CAA02000 for more information on the decision making process for Customs applications.