Representation: Indirect Representation (IR)
In most cases an IR will be a third party agent/warehouse-keeper authorised for CFSP in their own right to conduct customs formalities in their name on behalf of their non authorised clients. Their clients do not require a separate CFSP authorisation. The IR is responsible for meeting all the general CFSP criteria and conditions for authorisation (see CFSP13250 onwards and CFSP14550). There are certain additional criteria that IRs will also have to satisfy.
An IR who also imports their own goods (Self Representation) will only require one CFSP authorisation.
The IR is responsible for ensuring that all declarations are submitted on time, in full and are accurate. They are required to maintain a full audit trail in respect of the goods declared and any necessary supporting documentation. The IR may return certain original documents (e.g. invoices, etc) to the importer but must retain a duplicate for their own records. The maintenance of paperwork must be agreed with the IR at the authorisation stage. This agreement must include:
- timescales for presenting any exhausted documentation to Customs, e.g. licences, transit documents, etc
- timescales for the presentation of supporting paperwork to Customs to allow post-clearance checks and audits to be carried out
- a list of the documents being maintained by each party (and the timescales in which documents held by the importer will be presented) and
- the locations at which documentation will be made available for inspection by Customs.
This information must be recorded and maintained within the IRs documented procedures.
The IR must state that they are acting in an indirect capacity by entering code 3 and their Trader Identification details (EORI) in Box 14 of all declarations.
Liability for the customs debt
The IR is jointly and severally liable with the person represented for any customs debts arising from the importation of goods through their CFSP authorisation.
The assurance officer should, in the first instance, contact the IR in the event of any irregularities or demands for duty. Where it can be proven that the IR has acted ‘in good faith’ on behalf of the importer and has satisfactorily fulfilled all their obligations, the officer should then contact the actual importer of the goods. Demands for duty should be issued simultaneously to both parties.