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HMRC internal manual

Customs Civil Penalties Guidance

Customs Civil Penalties Guidance: time limits for issuing a warning letter or penalty notice

There are two time limits for issuing a warning letter or a penalty notice. Both of these have to be satisfied.

A warning letter or penalty notice must be issued within

  • 3 years after the contravention took place, and
  • 2 years after HMRC has sufficient evidence of facts to issue it.

There is operational guidance on considering time limits at