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HMRC internal manual

Customs Civil Penalties Guidance

Options for addressing a contravention: provide education confirmed by written instruction

Once we have found a contravention of customs provisions we must consider which approach has the best chance of achieving compliance by the trader in the future. One of the options available is to provide education.

We should, for example, generally consider helping businesses and individuals to comply by providing education to them if they make mistakes when

  • they are a relatively new business with very little knowledge or experience in International Trade activity, or
  • they have just started to use a particular regime and do not fully understand the conditions of that regime or the information and records they need to have and keep.

But there is usually little value in providing education to a trader who is fully aware of their obligations or an agent who has a good understanding of Customs provisions.

See CCPG25000 for detailed guidance on

  • the types of education we may provide and
  • examples of when it will be appropriate to provide education.

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