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HMRC internal manual

Customs Freight Simplified Procedures

Processing the application: Indirect Representatives and traders’ records

An agent or third party may apply for CFSP authorisation in their own name or on behalf of their clients. Their clients, unlike with Direct Representation, would not require a separate CFSP authorisation. The IR assumes responsibility for meeting all the general criteria and conditions for authorisation (see CFSP13250). There are some additional conditions which the IR will need to adhere to in order to gain CFSP authorisation. These are covered in the following paragraphs.

Liability for the CFSP authorisation, Customs Comprehensive Guarantee(CCG), Deferment account and customs debt

The IR is solely responsible for meeting the criteria and conditions of their CFSP authorisation. The IR is responsible for ensuring that all declarations are completed accurately, submitted on time to Customs and that all necessary documentation and supporting records are maintained satisfactorily and securely.

The IR, as a condition of their authorisation is responsible for providing adequate CCG and/or Deferment Guarantee to cover all importations made through their CFSP authorisation. This must be sufficient to cover all importations made in their own name and on behalf of their clients. Further information on the level and manner in which this security may be provided is detailed in CFSP12000.

The IR is jointly and severally liable with the importer (their client) for any customs debts arising from all declarations including any errors/ under declarations etc made using their CFSP authorisation.

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Procedure for authorising an IR for CFSP

If a trader/agent applies for authorisation as an IR then, in addition to the general authorisation procedures in CFSP13250 the following points must be considered and actioned as early as possible within the authorisation process:

  • Ensure that the IR can fully comply with all authorisation criteria and conditions.
  • Assess the suitability of the IR’s system including retention of data (CFSP14400).
  • Establish whether or not the IR intends to develop an in-house Anti-smuggling Net (ASN) that would enable them to do bulk releases at the frontier. Without an ASN, third party operators (TPOs) must enter individual SFD’s for each consignment. ASNs are complex and require considerable trade and departmental effort. Any trader considering this option should contact the Cargo Systems & Development Team at LAP. See CFSP14700 for further details.
  • Agree what information is required to be held about the importer, the goods imported, the deferment approval numbers and where the documentary evidence will be made available (see CFSP14400 on retention of records & complete audit trails). (N.B. Enhanced data will be required in respect of an EIDR once the new system to replace Chief is implemented)
  • Establish who will provide the security for the customs debt-and for what amount? (ie will this be provided by the IR, or the trader(s) they are representing, or will they each provide a percentage?)
  • Establish whose duty deferment will be used for payment purposes. Ensure the user has the required authority (HMRC form C1207N must be completed and submitted to DMB Banking Southend, this will result in the necessary authorisation being defined on CHIEF - see CFSP12200) and
  • Agree a systems testing procedure with the applicant (as explained in CFSP15000).

If the authorising officer fails to agree and ensure that these procedures are correctly documented by the IR, problems may arise at a later date.

The officer should also document the answers to each of these points within the visiting officer’s report.

When all the testing and pre-authorisation checks etc have been completed, the C&E58 should be issued to the IR, as they will be the authorised party for CFSP.