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HMRC internal manual

Guidance on the Audit of Customs Values

HM Revenue & Customs
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Export licences: textile products (quota charges): certificates of authenticity: meat

Under an arrangement between the EC and some exporting countries a quota is allocated for importations of high quality fresh, chilled or frozen beef or veal. This arrangement is known as the ‘Hilton Scheme’ and provides for the importation free of import levy of a fixed quota of such meat.

The quota is administered by the exporting country issuing certificates of authenticity and the EC issuing import licences. Certificates of authenticity are issued to slaughterhouses in proportion to the quantities of meat sold under the scheme in the previous year. The slaughterhouse makes no payment for obtaining such certificates. The certificates cannot be transferred separately to another slaughter house.

They can be allocated only to specific consignments of meat intended for export to the EC. The slaughterhouse charges a price for the meat. A separate amount is charged for the certificate. Both payments accrue directly or indirectly to the slaughterhouse (seller of the imported goods).

Practical application

The certificate of authenticity, not being transferable, cannot be disassociated from the meat accompanying it. Likewise it has in itself no value independent of the value of the meat. Also the amount invoiced for the certificate accrues directly or indirectly to the seller of the imported goods. Because the certificate cannot be traded separately, the buyer is not reimbursing the seller for acquiring the certificate. In fact the amount charged for the certificate is pure profit for the seller.

For these reasons the amount invoiced for the certificate is to be included in the customs value as part of the price paid or payable for the imported goods (Article 29.3(a) of the Code) (ECJ case 219/88 and CVS Conclusion 15 also refer).