Penalty notice: considering whether to issue a penalty notice: considering reasonable excuse
The Customs Penalty Action Checklist (CPAC), see CCPG27220, asks you to consider reasonable excuse.
If there is a reasonable excuse for the contravention we should not issue a penalty. You should therefore consider whether there is a reasonable excuse in any case where you are considering issuing a penalty.
Reasonable excuse is discussed in detail at CCPG11700.
If you consider there is a reasonable excuse, you should
- record your considerations on the CPAC
- obtain authorisation of your decision on the CPAC
- notify the trader of your decision about their excuse in writing
- put a copy of your CPAC in Caseflow.
If you decide that there is not a reasonable excuse, you should continue with the CPAC, explaining the reasons for your decision. Although you do not consider the representations made by the trader to be a reasonable excuse, they may constitute mitigating factors which need to be considered in determining the level of the penalty, see CCPG27330.