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HMRC internal manual

Excise Assessments Interim Guidance

Assessment powers in particular excise regimes: assessments for deficiencies in warehoused goods

Section 94(3)(b) of CEMA provides the power to assess when goods are found to be missing or deficient before they are lawfully removed from warehouse.

It is used to assess for losses and deficiencies of excise goods in warehouse where the warehousekeeper cannot show that the loss or deficiency was accidental or due to natural causes.

The provision may also be used in cases where goods are unlawfully removed from warehouse. An unlawful removal occurs when

  • the entry that is made is deliberately false in order to perpetrate a fraud, or
  • there is a failure to comply with regulatory requirements.

An unlawful removal will not necessarily constitute a deliberate attempt to defraud. Duty suspended excise goods removed from the warehouse without the appropriate removal documentation would constitute an unlawful removal contrary to the Excise Warehousing (Etc) Regulations 1988. The most likely scenario would be where, by way of a genuine mistake, the wrong goods are picked and removed.