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HMRC internal manual

Customs Civil Penalties Guidance

Customs Civil Penalties Guidance: reviews and appeals against warning letters and penalty decisions

A trader has the right to

  • ask for a review of our decisions or
  • appeal to the independent tribunal.

A trader can ask for a review of a decision

  • to issue a warning letter
  • to charge a penalty or
  • on the amount of a penalty.

They can decide to appeal directly to the tribunal without a review.

NOTE. If they ask for a review they cannot appeal to the tribunal until they receive the review decision.


If the trader decides they want a review they should write to

Customs Reviews and Appeals Team
Customs Directorate
7th Floor South West
Alexander House
21 Victoria Avenue
Southend on Sea
Essex SS99 1AA

within 30 days of the date of the warning letter or penalty notice, see ARTG3090.

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If the review officer upholds the decision to issue the warning letter or charge a penalty, they will explain in their review conclusion letter how the trader can appeal to the tribunal.

Guidance for traders on HMRC’s appeals and review arrangements can be found in ‘How to appeal against an HMRC decision - indirect tax (GOV.UK website)’ or HMRC 1 (GOV.UK website) ‘HMRC decisions - what to do if you disagree ‘. Appeals will normally be to the First Tier Tribunal. Further information can be found at ARTG3000.

Note. The Review and Appeals team will inform the Compliance officer of any review and appeals they receive against customs civil penalties.

There is operational guidance on appeals and reviews at CCPG29000.