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HMRC internal manual

Excise Assessments Interim Guidance

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Liability including joint and several liability: more than one person with primary liability

It is possible to have more than one “person” with primary liability to pay the duty. For example, in the Excise Goods (Holding, Movement, Warehousing and REDS) Regulations 1992; regulation 5 states that the person liable to pay duty in the case of an importation of excise goods from another Member State shall be the importer of the excise goods.

However, in paragraph (9) of the regulation the definition of importer is extended to include any owner of those excise goods or any person beneficially interested in those excise goods.

In such cases, only one assessment should be made, but it should be notified to every person with primary liability. For example, where there are two persons with primary liability the assessment should be notified as follows.

Form EX 601 should state the full name and address of both persons: “Person A, Address W and Person B, Address X”. The explanatory letter should also state the full name and address of both persons.

You should sign and date identical copies of the explanatory letter and print off two copies of the EX 601. On one of the EX601’s write on the top in red ink “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document”. Sign and date each copy.

Send the original (signed and dated) EX 601 and one copy of the explanatory letter to person A, notifying them of the assessment. Send the copy EX 601 and the other copy of the explanatory letter to person B, notifying them of the assessment. In both cases, include an EX 603.

If there are more than two persons with primary liability you should print the appropriate number of EX601’s and annotate them as described above for persons C, D, E etc. Each person liable should receive a copy of the EX601, the explanatory letter and form EX603.