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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: taking control of goods (TCoG): the notice after entry and inventory of goods

Notice after entry

It is a legal requirement to leave a ‘notice after entry’ in all cases where you enter premises and/or vehicles with the intention of taking control of goods, even if you do not actually take control of any goods. Therefore, after entering premises or entering a vehicle with the intention of taking control of goods on those premises or on the highway, you must leave a notice (for HMRC, this will be a Form 204 TCoG) either:

  • with the debtor
  • if the debtor is not present, in a sealed envelope in a prominent place telling him what you are doing.

The notice may be given at any time during the process (but clearly after taking control if the required information below is to be given). It must be signed by you, as the enforcement agent, and set out:

  • the name and address of the debtor
  • your name
  • the reference number
  • the date of the notice
  • the address of the premises you have entered or location of any vehicle entered
  • the manufacturer, model, colour and registration of any vehicle entered (with the intention of taking control of goods).

The notice must also state that you have done one or more of the following, as applicable; either:

  • entered the premises
  • taken control of goods on a highway
  • entered a vehicle on a highway with the intention of taking control of goods.

It must also state whether or not you have taken control of goods and, if so, include:

  • the location and time when the goods were taken into control
  • a list of the goods taken into control with a description, including:
    • manufacturer, model and serial number of the goods
    • in the case of a vehicle, the manufacturer, model, colour and registration mark of the vehicle
    • the material, colour and usage, and (where appropriate) any other identifying characteristic of the goods.

The notice must also state:

  • the sum outstanding (principal debt, interest and fees) as at the date of the notice
  • the date and time by which the sum outstanding must be paid to prevent the controlled goods being sold
  • how payment should be made and details of hours and days it can be made
  • that the controlled goods will be released on payment in full of the sum outstanding.

If you have provided a separate inventory listing the goods taken into control then there is no requirement to provide this information again on the notice after entry.

There are additional notice requirements where goods are removed for storage or sale; in other words, in instant removal cases (where there is no CGA in place). In these cases, the notice must also specify:

  • that you have removed the controlled goods to secure storage or for sale
  • the date that the goods were removed
  • a list of the goods removed (where these are different to those already listed earlier in the notice)
  • the daily/weekly storage charges payable
  • the procedure for collection of the goods on payment of the sum outstanding.

Where any of the above information is unknown at the time of providing the notice to the debtor, you should provide the information in writing as soon as is reasonably practical.

Inventory of goods

List the seized goods on the inventory which forms part of the set contained in the ‘Notice after entry or taking goods (on a highway) and inventory of goods taken into control’. Where the debtor is present, ascertain ownership of goods and list those which are free of finance. List the goods wholly owned by the debtor first and then co-owned, or jointly owned goods. Do not list any goods that the debtor (or someone else) is using if this is likely to cause a breach of the peace.

You must provide the debtor with an inventory of the goods taken under control as soon as reasonably practicable; this should be:

  • an inventory of goods without a co-owner
  • separate inventories of goods owned by the debtor and each co-owner.

You must also provide any co-owner of the goods with:

  • an inventory of those goods
  • a copy of the notice after entry.

It is acceptable, where appropriate, to combine the inventory with either a:

  • controlled goods agreement
  • notice after entry.