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HMRC internal manual

Holding and Movements - Duty Stamps

When a Stamp May Be Applied: Occasional Importers

Like REDS, Occasional Importers are not permitted to hold or dispatch excise goods in dutysuspension. They are governed by Part VI of the Excise Goods (Holding, Movement,Warehousing and REDS) Regulations 1992, and are revenue traders who are allowed to receiveconsignments of excise goods from other Member States on a one-off basis, or from time totime, in the course of their business. The duty point for goods acquired by OccasionalImporters is the time that the goods are received. However, security for the excise dutyon the goods must be provided by the Occasional Importer before the goods are despatched.

Before the goods are dispatched, the Occasional Importer has to complete a form C&E1165, which serves to notify HMRC that the consignment is expected and to provide a meansfor the trader to pay the duty on deposit. The completed C&E 1165 is sent to theHMRC’s National Occasional Importers Centre (NOIC) along with payment. Once thedeposit is paid, NOIC will retain copy 1 of the C&E 1165 and endorse copy 2 and returnit to the Occasional Importer. Copy 2 is than sent to the supplier to accompany the goodsalong with the Administrative Accompanying Document (AAD) or Simplified AdministrativeAccompanying Document (SAAD), depending on whether the goods are in duty suspension or arealready duty paid in another Member State.

As soon as the goods arrive, HMRC must be notified by phone or fax. Once the goods areunloaded and checked, the Occasional Importer must endorse copy 3 of the AAD or SAAD toacknowledge receipt of the goods and return it to the supplier. No later than 4 workingdays after the arrival of the goods, the Occasional Importer must deliver copy 2 of theC&E 1165 to NOIC along with any additional duty due.

As already stated, one of the conditions of the duty stamps scheme is that stamps mustbe affixed to bottles before the duty point. This would ordinarily mean that an OccasionalImporter would have to buy spirits that already bore a UK duty stamp prior to bringingthem into the UK. However, like the arrangements for REDS, Occasional Importers are alsopermitted to apply stamps after the goods arrive in the UK (and therefore after the dutypoint).

In these circumstances, the Occasional Importer can obtain stamps from NOIC, who keep astock of product specific, serially numbered, freestanding stamps for issue upon receiptof the Occasional Importer’s C&E1165 and deposit for the duty. The stamps will beposted to the Occasional Importer at the same time as the endorsed C&E 1165. TheOccasional Importer must affix the stamps to retail containers within 14 days of receiptof the goods. The offence for holding or transporting unstamped goods is dis-applied forthat 14 day period.

When ordering stamps, the Occasional Importer must make a declaration that the goods heis receiving do not already bear duty stamps. If he does receive stamped goods, any stampshe has ordered and acquired from HMRC must be returned to HMRC. Similarly, any stampswhich are no longer required for any other reason (e.g. if the order falls through) mustalso be returned to HMRC.

Occasional importers are not permitted to pass stamps on to third parties for affixingto the goods.