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HMRC internal manual

Holding and Movements Assurance Guidance

Excise duty points: introduction

Before you can make and notify an assessment to anyone (including instances where there is joint and several liability) you must first identify the excise duty point and the person/s who are liable for the excise duty at that point. At the same time, you should consider whether seizure and/or civil penalty action is appropriate. In all cases, you must gather sufficient evidence to support your action.

Duty points on or after 1st April 2010

When an excise duty point occurs, or is deemed to occur, on or after 1 April 2010, the duty points and person/s liable are contained in The Excise Goods (Holding, Movement and Duty Point) Regulations 2010 (HMDP Regulations), as amended. The Regulations cover situations when:

  • there is an irregular departure or an unlawful removal of goods from a tax warehouse;
  • an irregularity occurs during a movement of duty-suspended or duty-paid goods. A duty-paid movement covers goods that have already been released for consumption in another Member State;
  • goods are held outside a duty-suspension arrangement and the duty has not been paid on those goods;
  • goods already released for consumption (duty-paid) in another Member State are held for a commercial purpose in the UK; or
  • there is a contravention of a condition allowing a relief from payment of duty or a breach of a condition or requirement which govern the movement of goods.

In addition, the HMDP Regulations provide that excise goods on which duty has not been paid are liable to forfeiture if there is a contravention of the Regulations or any condition or restriction imposed by or under the Regulations. They also provide for the imposition of civil penalties where there is either a contravention of the Regulations or an EU requirement. ‘EU requirement’ is defined in regulation 3 of the HMDP Regulations and covers exemptions and accompanying document procedures including Single Administrative Accompanying Document (SAAD) and electronic accompanying document (eAD and associated fallback arrangements).

This guidance also discusses when it is appropriate to consider an excise wrongdoing penalty under Schedule 41 of the Finance Act 2008.

When UK regulations do not apply

If excise goods leave the UK and are correctly entered into the duty-suspension arrangements of another Member State, UK regulations will no longer apply.