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HMRC internal manual

Customs Civil Penalties Guidance

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 you address such a failure

You should take the following actions:

  • Ask the trader to produce the records and information. Make this request in writing. Set out clearly the information and records you require and specify a reasonable period of time for the trader to provide this information; as already requested when issuing the appropriate departmental pre visit booking letter.
  • If the trader does not comply with the request you 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. Note that there is no legal requirement for the time limit for the trader to produce the records or information - usually set at 14 days - to be the same as the 30 day RTBH. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • You may consider CCP action under R/C231 Deficiencies in systems, records, security of premises to be more appropriate, see 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, you must agree the next course of action with your 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 TALA for advice before issuing any further penalty notice.