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HMRC internal manual

Excise Competent Official Guidance

Introduction: What does Competent Official status not allow me to do?

As a Competent Official you cannot legally:

  • Participate directly in tax enquiries (e.g. direct questions to a trader during an assurance event) in another Member State. However under Article 11 of The Regulation you may have access to the premises and documents with the permission and assistance of officials from the host Member State who can ask questions on your behalf;
  • Exchange excise information with anyone who has not got authorised status as listed in bullet point 2 of Section 5 above;
  • Exchange excise information outside the limits of the letter of authority, (e.g. if the authority covers company A only, you are not allowed to exchange information about company B). If the situation arises during the event you must contact the CLO urgently to extend your authority;
  • Exchange excise information after the date has expired in the authority – you can request an extension of your authority from the CLO; and
  • Delegate your authorisation as a Competent Official to anyone else to act on your behalf. Only the CLO can authorise someone as a Competent Official to exchange excise information under Article 3.4 of the Regulation.