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HMRC internal manual

Customs Civil Penalties Guidance

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Classifying the category of contraventions: failure to produce records or information

A trader may fail to produce records or information which we have requested.

How might we address such a failure

We should take the following actions.

  • Require the trader to produce the records and information. Make this request in writing. Set out clearly the information and records we require and specify a reasonable period of time for the trader to provide this information.
  • If the trader does not comply with the request we may decide to issue a warning letter following the guidance at CCPG26000, giving them a further reasonable period of time to produce the records or information. Include the Right to be Heard (RTBH), see CCPG11500. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • Following the issues of a warning letter, we should ask the trader directly if there a reason why they are unable to produce the information and records you have requested. We need to ensure that the progression of Customs Civil Penalty action is appropriate dependant on circumstances of why the information has not been produced. We may consider CCP action under R/C231 Deficiencies in systems, records, security of premises to be more appropriate. CCPG22400.
  • If there are no deficiencies in their systems and the trader fails to produce the records or information by the date specified in the warning letter, look at the case and, where appropriate, issue a £250 penalty giving the trader a further period of time to produce the records or information requested.
  • If the trader still fails to produce the records or information requested, issue a second penalty of £500 and give the trader a further deadline to produce the required records or information.
  • If the trader still fails to produce the records or information requested, issue a third penalty of £1000 and give the trader a further period of time in which to produce the required records or information.

Note: The issue of second and third penalties for failure to produce, should not be treated as an automatic process. It is important to maintain contact with the business to identify any barriers to their compliance and to reinforce messages around the legal requirements and related consequences for continued failure. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  

For detailed guidance on considering and issuing

If, after the warning letter and three penalty demands, the trader still fails to produce the specific records or information requested, the compliance officer must agree the next course of action with their manager and the regime owner. It is unlikely that further penalty action would be effective. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  

Other options to consider

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It may be that you decide, the right course of action would be further penalties. However, you must contact TAA for advice before issuing any further penalty notice.