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HMRC internal manual

Holding and Movements Assurance Guidance

Registration and approval guidance: Sanctions: Failure to Notify penalties

Finance Act 2008 Schedule 41 section 1 introduced geared penalties where a person fails to comply with an obligation specified in the schedule. For the purposes of this guidance this relates to the following obligations:

  • that premises must be approved to receive, deposit or hold duty suspended excise goods under CEMA s92 (approval of warehouses);
  • that the occupier of the warehouse must be authorised to receive, deposit, dispatch or hold duty suspended excise goods under CEMA s100G;
  • that a revenue trader must be approved and registered to hold relevant excise goods in duty suspension in an excise warehouse under CEMA s100G;
  • that a person must be approved as a registered consignor under CEMA s100G to dispatch excise goods in duty suspension to allowable destinations following their release to free circulation;
  • that a person must be registered as a registered consignee or temporary registered consignee in order to receive duty-suspended excise goods.

If officers establish that traders have failed to notify any of these obligations they should consider issuing a failure to notify penalty (unless you are satisfied the trader has a reasonable excuse). Details of the procedure and the level of penalty can be found in the Compliance Handbook guidance at CH70000.

In practice officers are more likely to discover on post approval visits to warehouse premises that duty suspended goods have been stored in unapproved areas of the site. In such cases the warehousekeeper will be liable to a failure to notify penalty for not requesting approval of those premises. The penalty amount will be based on the duty due taking into account the behaviour of the warehousekeeper.

Additionally an assessment for the full amount of duty on the goods held outside of a duty suspension arrangement should be issued (see guidance X-51 Excise Assessments).

Where there is a contravention of the requirements for a movement of duty-paid goods then regulation 89 of the HMDP regulations will apply instead.