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HMRC internal manual

Customs Civil Penalties Guidance

Warning letter: completing a warning letter

A Compliance officer should only prepare a draft Civil Penalty Warning Letter (CPWL) letter once they have completed the Customs Penalty Action Checklist (CPAC), see CCPG26220. The template is on SEES.

Notes for completion of warning letter

  • Check the Trader details and legal entity for accuracy using appropriate sources such as: CaseFlow DTR or EF to ensure the CPWL will be addressed to the correct trader/ business.
  • Insert the name and address of the trader - see note below.
  • Ensure the letter is addressed to the appropriate level within the company, see CCPG26240.
  • Insert EORI.
  • Insert the date of issue.
  • Insert the Reason Code. See column 3 of Schedules of Contraventions.
  • Insert the Category of Contravention, see CCPG23100.
  • Insert the date of the intervention, the period covered, and a Description of Contravention. See Appendix 1 - Example wording for descriptions. Ensure the Articles contravened are quoted. See CCPG10150 for specimen descriptions of contraventions.
  • From dropdown box select as appropriate - The Customs (Contravention of a Relevant Rule) Regulations 2003, as amended, or The Export (Penalty) Regulations 2003 as amended.
  • Insert the maximum monetary amount applicable to the contravention. This will be either £1,000 or £2,500. See column 3 of Schedules of Contraventions.
  • Insert an appropriate ‘further contraventions’ warning, see CCPG10150.
  • Insert your name, telephone number, and office address.
  • On the second page, fill in the trader details, your name and provide an overview of the contraventions and the detail of the corrective action the trader needs to take to improve compliance.

NOTE: For companies, when completing the name and address details on your warning letter, on the bottom left hand corner of the address box record the name of the overall Managing Director of the company.

The warning letter itself is only valid if the contravention is correctly identified. If in doubt you can discuss the Reason Code you propose to use and your reasons for issuing a warning letter with your compliance manager. Alternatively you can contact the CITEX CCP Network.