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HMRC internal manual

Import and National Clearance Hub Procedures

Outline of CHIEF computer facilities: errors

Treatment of errors

Certain minor error may be amended ‘in-house’ without reference to the trader, except in cases involving fraud or prohibitions or restrictions. All other errors detected must be referred to the trader, but if possible all checks (including physical examination) must be completed first.

Minor errors

Minor errors are those where particulars can be readily established from the entry or supporting documents or there is no doubt as to the signatories’ true intention and where no major errors are also involved. CHIEF will allow these minor errors to be corrected without requiring manual clearance.

Examples of minor errors are:

  • Incomplete name or address of the importer, consignor or signatory provided the particulars given are sufficient for identification.
  • Inaccuracies in transcribing marks and numbers of packages from the supporting documents.
  • Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) licence particulars are incorrectly transcribed.
  • Errors not statistically significant.
  • On CIE entries in the quantity or value that duty or any other charges is based, or in the calculations of the charges do not affect the amount payable by more than £10.

If legal proceeding become necessary on an entry that has been amended by Departmental staff, a witness statement will be required from the staff concerned explaining how the entry was dealt with and what amendments were made.

Statistical errors

Departmental policy is to produce statistics to a level of accuracy that reflects the needs of government and the trade within available resources.

The Statistical Office is responsible for ensuring published statistics meet this criteria, we play an important part in educating traders and bringing significant errors to traders’ attention.

Errors of statistical significance are considered to be:

  • of £600 or more in value or
  • in quantities 1, 2 or 3 (Box 38, 41 or 47 of the SAD respectively) where the difference between the entered and correct amount represents a value of £600 or more or
  • in the entered information relating to Box 15a (Country of Dispatch), 37 (CPC), or 34a (Country of Origin).

If a sole error concerns Box 21 or Box 25 it only affects statistical data and can be amended in-house without reference to the trader, as a minor error.