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HMRC internal manual

Customs Special Procedures Manual

Applying for an authorisation for a Special Procedure: processing an application for a Special Procedure - authorising office process

Summary of generic checks for customs applications

The standard checks to be undertaken on all applications for a Special Procedure are as follows:

  1. ‘Acceptance condition test’

Following receipt of an application, the ‘acceptance condition test’ must be completed. This tests, amongst other things, whether the applicant:

  • has submitted the application:
    • on the correct form
    • to the correct customs authority and competent office
  • is eligible to apply for the procedure.

The tests should be completed in the correct order to avoid spending unnecessary time checking applicants that fail the ‘eligibility to apply’ tests.

If the application fails any of the mandatory acceptance conditions in CAA09060  no further checks need to be undertaken.

  1. Accepting an application is complete

Following satisfactory completion of the acceptance condition tests, authorising officers should then ensure that all the information necessary to make a decision on the application has been provided. For further information see Gaps in application/CAA09080.

  1. Applicant’s known history: a check on the known business operations and past trading and compliance history of the applicant

This will enable a reasoned opinion to be reached on the credibility of the information contained within the application, the validity of the processes applied for in relation to the businesses known activities, demonstrate an economic need for the application and perform an assessment of the overall compliance history of the applicant

  1. Eligibility tests on the applicant’s ability to fulfil the criteria and conditions for authorisation or approval (the generic requirements)

Tests to be completed against the standard criteria and conditions, covering the (AEO(C)) areas of:

  • compliance
  • management of customs operations, including internal controls and record keeping
  • financial solvency of applicants
  • practical experience and competency in customs operations.

For further information see SPE04060.

  1. Visiting Officer’s report

Where it is not possible to reach a decision on an applicant’s eligibility for the regime or procedure on the basis of the desk based assurance checks a pre-authorisation visit should be conducted.

Following completion of these standard checks, additional bespoke checks may be required in relation to the customs procedure concerned.  Details of the checks for each Special Procedure may be found in SPE04050 and SPE04060.