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HMRC internal manual

Guidance on the Audit of Customs Values

Meat: valuation treatment of imported meat

Where meat is imported (or removed from Customs Warehouse) on outright purchase or to prior order. It should normally be possible to establish the customs value under Method 1.

A sizeable portion of imported meat is entered to customs warehouse bonded cold stores. It is not uncommon for the meat to change ownership whilst it is held in bond due to the import licensing requirements. An import licence usually will stipulate a time by which the licence must be used and traders will interchange ownership of meat held in store in order to fulfil this requirement. For example, a trader may have a consignment of meat but not hold a licence or vice versa.

It has been known for meat to change hands 30 times and, on occasions, return to the original seller/importer. In such circumstances any one of the sales in the chain is acceptable for determining the customs value under the provisions of Method 1, even where this value is lower than the one entered in the stock records at the time of importation and entry to warehouse.

This is, of course, subject to the proviso that the proprietor, who removes the goods and pays the duty is in a position to attest to the facts of the sale on the valuation declaration.