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HMRC internal manual

Customs Freight Simplified Procedures

Pre- and post-clearance work: general information

Frontier procedures

CFSP was designed to simplify import procedures for traders. The vast majority of goods imported using CFSP are assigned Route 6 status and pass through the frontier with minimal Customs intervention. However, CFSP goods are not entirely excluded from frontier activities and certain importations still require local action.

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Anti-smuggling checks

These are the responsibility of the UK Borders Agency based at the frontier. Information which allows officers to target suspect consignments of goods is predominantly obtained through inventory-linked systems at DTI air/ports or through the frontier SAD but these procedures differ for non-DTI ports and third-party operators. For more information on Anti-Smuggling checks, including the use of Anti-Smuggling Nets (ASNs), refer to CFSP14700.

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Physical examinations

  1. UKBA is responsible for all physical examinations of goods at ports, airports and inland clearance facilities. These frontier examinations of the goods should, in the main, be restricted to anti-smuggling, border admissibility checks for port health, conformity or prohibition and restriction controls. UKBA also carry out all post examination activity up to, and including, clearance of the goods on CHIEF.
  2. CITEX & LB staff may also select consignments for fiscal and other examinations and will notify UKBA if an examination should be carried out at the frontier. CITEX/LB retain responsibility for EIDR examinations at traders’ inland premises.

Examinations of the goods for fiscal purposes should only be carried out at the frontier following a specific request by inland audit staff or the National Clearance Hub on a risk-basis, as part of the CFSP audit /assurance programme. These examinations would normally take place at the trader’s designated premises inland but in certain circumstances (eg SDP traders), CITEX/LB staff may require UKBA to carry out these examinations on their behalf at the frontier.

In general, the re-routing of SFDs for documentary or physical examination should be on an exceptional rather than routine basis (except for controlled goods). Where goods are routed 1 or 2, UKBA or the Hub will need to have local procedures in place for obtaining and returning (where applicable) any necessary supporting documentation.

The vast majority of physical examinations which take place at the frontier will have been generated by CHIEF profiles (see CFSP20150). CFSP goods do not tend to hit these profiles unless they are controlled goods. Therefore it may be necessary to physically examine the goods away from the frontier, for example at the trader’s premises or warehouse as part of an assurance event.

There is guidance on the procedures for examining goods at inland locations on the CFSP UoE Intranet webpage.