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HMRC internal manual

Import and export pipe-lines

HM Revenue & Customs
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Law: Interpretation


  1. When applying the Customs and Excise Acts to goods imported or exported by pipe- line, the following will apply.
(i) Imported goods are to be treated as imported at the time when they are brought by pipe-line within the limits of UK territorial waters or brought by pipe- line into Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland.  
(ii) Exported goods are to be treated as exported at the time when they are charged into a pipe-line for exportation.
  1. Any power of making regulations or other instruments conferred by the Customs and Excise Acts in relation to the importation and exportation of goods may be exercised, by virtue of CEMA section 3(3) to make provisions for goods imported or exported by pipe-line.

The legal provisions are to be found in appropriate sections of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (CEMA.) Section 24 of that Act provides that goods may not be imported or exported or, if incleared, moved by a pipe-line which has not been approved by the Commissioners; “uncleared goods” includes dutiable Customs and Excise goods removed from warehouse without payment of duty. The law provides for control over:

(i) importation or exportation of goods by pipe-line;

(ii) movements by pipe-line within the UK of imported goods not yet cleared from Customs and Excise charge;

(iii) dutiable goods moved from warehouse by pipe-line without payment