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HMRC internal manual

Customs Civil Penalties Guidance

Options for addressing a contravention: direct to penalty

Normally you would issue a warning letter for a contravention before issuing a penalty. However, you can you can go direct to a penalty where:

  • the contravention amounts to one or more serious errors, or
  • the trader does not comply with written instructions we have given them
  • they breach the conditions of an authorisation we have given them causing a serious detrimental effect on revenue or physical control of goods
  • goods are removed from Customs Control at either point of import or export without the goods having been cleared or given permission to progress causing a detrimental effect on revenue control or physical control of the goods potentially creating a safety or security issue.
  • For operational guidance on penalty notices, see CCPG27000.

You must complete a Customs Penalty Action Checklist (CPAC) for any decision you make about a contravention. Your decision must agreed by your manager.