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HMRC internal manual

Excise Assessments Interim Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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Notifying assessments in particular situations: Form C18 Post clearance demand note - goods imported from outside the EU or intra-EU movement not in free circulation

In certain circumstances, an assessment to excise duty may be notified on a Form C18 Post Clearance Demand Note, rather than an EX 601.

Where a customs debt is incurred on goods imported into the UK from outside the EU, a C18 may be issued for the customs duty and/or import VAT that is due. If the goods are liable to excise duty, an assessment for the amount due may also be notified on the C18 (see Customs Tariff Volume 3 Part 3 and Appendix C7). This is provided that

  • the person liable to pay the customs duty and/or import VAT (the customs debtor) is also the person liable to pay the excise duty, and
  • the notification makes it clear that an assessment to excise duty has been made and explains the reason for that assessment.


Excise goods subject to the external Community transit procedure are imported into the UK.

The goods are unlawfully removed from customs supervision. A customs debt is incurred under Article 203 of the Community Customs Code (Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92).

Article 203 also specifies the customs debtor(s).

A C18 demand may be issued to the customs debtor for any customs duty/import VAT that is due.

An excise duty point is created at the time that the customs debt is incurred, under regulation 4 of the Excise Duty Point (External and Internal Community Transit Procedure) Regulations 1998.

Under regulation 6 of those regulations, the person liable to pay the excise duty is the customs debtor (or any other person who brings about, or assists in bringing about, the customs debt).

An assessment to excise duty may be made under Finance Act 1994 section 12(1) or 12(1A) and notified to the customs debtor on the C18.

An explanatory letter sent with the C18 should explain the reason for the assessment.