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HMRC internal manual

Customs Civil Penalties Guidance

HMRC roles: role of Compliance Officer

The compliance officer’s role involves identifying contraventions of customs law as part of a compliance check into a trader’s tax position. They do this by checking a trader’s international trade records, including their customs declarations and all of the supporting documentation, to make sure the trader has

  • declared the correct information to HMRC and
  • followed Customs procedures fully when importing, exporting or transiting their goods and
  • where applicable, complied fully with the conditions of their authorisation or a particular Regime.

If they have identified a contravention, the compliance officer is responsible for determining whether Customs Civil Penalty (CCP) action is appropriate,  see CCPG30000 They do this by completing a Customs Penalty Action Checklist (CPAC), see CCPG26220, in order for a decision to be made on whether or not to progress CCP action.

This can include:

  • making sure that a contravention is included within legal provisions and the schedules that support them, see CCPG11000+,
  • deciding which category a contravention falls into, see CCPG22000,
  • considering what the approach should be to any contraventions., see CCPG23100 and CCPG24000 - CCPG28000.
  • where appropriate, educating traders or agents, see CCPG25000,
  • making decisions about the need for and issue of warning letters and penalty notices, see CCPG26200 and CCPG27200,
  • Liasing with CRMs when appropriate, see CCPG303010
  • keeping records of actions taken and the reasons for them, see CCPG26700, CCPG30460 and CCPG30660.

Compliance officers outside of CITEX (ISBC) and LB will refer their cases to the CCP Network for further actions, see CCPG40000.