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HMRC internal manual

Customs Freight Simplified Procedures

Processing the application: anti-smuggling

CFSP does not cover anti-smuggling controls. These are the responsibility of the UK Border Agency teams based at the frontier. They reserve the right to require any goods to be produced for examination at the place of importation. The teams use a number of risk systems to select goods for examination to enable them to detect prohibited or restricted goods. They obtain this primarily from two sources:

  • commercial information from the inventory-linked systems at DTI ports and airports or
  • the abbreviated frontier SAD (which identifies the importer and supplier).

However, there are some exceptions, which are set out in the following paragraphs.

CFSP goods imported through a DTI port
CFSP goods imported through a port which does not have DTI
Third Party Operators (TPOs)
Anti-smuggling networks
Minimum data requirements of anti-smuggling Nets

CFSP goods imported through a DTI port

Third Party Operator or Bulk Removal procedures can permit the release of goods by EIDR before the individual consignment consignee/consignor/origin/description of goods details are declared into the port DTI system (eg to an ETSF). Also a trader’s in-house system can be used as a summary declaration and mechanism to control release from the frontier. In these cases the necessary anti-smuggling information and controls will have to be provided through a different electronic system.

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CFSP goods imported through a port which does not have DTI

Companies not using a DTI port or airport will therefore have to establish electronic links with the department and will have to install a Preventive Net on their own import handling system. UKBA should have the ability to set profiles and inhibit release of consignments against specified criteria and should be allowed the necessary access in order to target consignments. Similarly, Third Party Operators (TPOs) will have to develop a Preventive Net which operates on their own in-house system and the necessary links to allow UKBA staff to access that system, if the above release conditions apply.

Where these exceptions apply, companies are not to be authorised for CFSP until the Preventive Net has been established on their system and access is assured, which may take some time. The data elements required on the Preventive Net - see below, should be communicated to the trader when the Preventive Net is being discussed. Costs of development and access are to be borne by the trader.

Prior to authorisation, all applicants for CFSP must be checked on CENTAUR and other intelligence systems. Any concerns should be discussed with UKBA at the port or airport where the goods are most likely to be entered.

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Third Party Operators (TPOs)

When an importer is the authorised CFSP trader, normal frontier anti-smuggling checks are possible against each consignment. These checks rely on UKBA being able to profile both the consignment data held in the (air)port inventory system and the data submitted in the SFD. As the TPO is not the ultimate importer, additional requirements must be imposed on CFSP TPOs to achieve the same level of information.

The additional requirements should normally be that bulked entries for CFSP are not permitted. Instead, bulked consignments must be ‘broken down’ (deconsolidated) at the frontier with each individual shipment being reported on the (air)port inventory system. Alternatively, the entire consignment could be removed to an ERTS facility for deconsolidation. A separate SFD should then be submitted for each shipment and the ultimate importers’ EORI is to be declared in Box 8. These conditions should be documented in the authorisation.

If a TPO opts not to submit individual SFDs in this manner then authorisation must not be granted without additional conditions being imposed stating how consignments will be reported and released at the frontier. Assurance/authorising officers should liaise as necessary with UKBA at the intended (air) ports of entry or with the appropriate DTI system liaison officers (Heathrow for CCS-UK Southampton for CNS Felixstowe for FCP, Dover for DHB & Staines for EDI).

All TPOs and particularly those with designated storage premises located at the frontier who are not submitting individual SFDs, would therefore be required to provide an Anti-Smuggling Network (ASN) facility within their own systems to enable access to the detailed information required by anti-smuggling staff prior to release from the frontier. The ASN requirement is supported by CEMA sections 35 and 77.

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Anti-smuggling networks

CSP systems are required to provide data to support UKBA anti-smuggling activities. This information is provided by CSP systems in two forms:

  • The form of a preventative net supplied for Customs use within the CSP system.
  • Provision of consignment information using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) communication links to Customs preventative systems.

These systems are known as the anti-smuggling network (ASN or Net).

The supply of a preventive net allows a UKBA officer to target cargo consignments. Every time a consignment record is created, deleted or amended on a CSP system it can be compared with parameters set by UKBA on that particular system. If the consignment matches a parameter the suspect consignment is reported to the attention of the UKBA officer immediately.

The ASN enables UKBA to input targeting information (eg a specific container reference) prior to arrival of the ship/aircraft, alerting them of potentially suspect cargo movements.

As well as supporting anti-smuggling activity, information obtained from ASNs and inventory systems will support fiscal and regulatory assurance activity.

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Minimum data requirements of anti-smuggling Nets

N.B. the data included in the ASN will be increased to comply with UCC EIDR requirements once the Chief replacement system is implemented

consignor name consignor address
consignee postcode consignee VAT number
airport/port of origin country of origin
airport/port of destination country of destination
consignment identity place of customs clearance
vessel/plane arrival date vessel name/flight number
description of goods shipment type (eg docs)
value number of packages
gross weight