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HMRC internal manual

Import and National Clearance Hub Procedures

HM Revenue & Customs
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Special directions: checking of claims


All repayment claims are scrutinised to determine whether or not they are allowable under the provisions of the Code in respect of duty, and under national requirements for other types of revenue.

Arithmetical accuracy

Full arithmetical checking of repayment claims is required. In all cases where a check reveals an error a correction is to be made to the claim and the details noted in local repayment records. The details include the amount of under or over claim. If necessary a revised C285 is supplied by the trader.

Belated changes of Commodity Code

It is imperative that claims involving a belated change of Commodity Code are carefully considered and only allowed on the basis of conclusive evidence to support revised classification. The risk must always be borne in mind of setting precedents that could subsequently prove embarrassing to the Department. A claim allowed on an unsound premise could be cited by an importer as ‘binding information’, to be used to his advantage by incorrectly declaring similar goods to the Commodity Code which attracts a lower rate of duty.

Goods lost by accident etc after clearance out of charge

Any application for repayment on goods that have been lost by accident or leakage or have been damaged after clearance or have been stolen is to be rejected.

Traders wrongly charged

If it is discovered that the revenue collected was charged to the wrong trader, eg because of an incorrect VAT / deferment number was quoted on the entry, repayment must be made as soon as possible without calling for a formal claim from the incorrectly charged trader. See also A-3 (Acctg. - duty deferment) concerning the correction of deferment accounts.

Repayment as above must not be withheld even though the duty or VAT etc is not immediately forthcoming from the correct trader. Recovery of the charges from the correct trader must follow normal procedures, right up to civil recovery action if necessary.


In all cases where the applicant appeals against the rejection of a claim for repayment or remission, the National Reviews and Appeals Team should be consulted.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)


Claims from traders are made on Form C285, see Notice 199 paragraphs 8.5 - 8.6. If it is discovered from official sources that repayment is due, ie an official error was made, a pro-forma claim, on Form C285, is to be completed on the trader’s behalf and payment made without seeking a formal claim from the payee.

For claims under Code Procedure 19 (INCHP11380) and / or Code Procedure 20 (INCHP11400) are to be followed.

If compliance officers discover errors, they are to ask the trader to complete a Form C285, attach a memo with the results of their own investigations and, if satisfied, stamp boxes 13 and 14 of form C285 and send the form and any accompanying documents to the National Duty Repayment Centre (NDRC) for action.

Where a remission (rather than a repayment) is involved, the procedures etc detailed in Procedures 19 (INCHP11380) and 20 (INCHP11400) must still be followed.

Full claims

Full claims consist of the C285 accompanied by the necessary documents required for Customs to decide on the validity of the repayment claim. Instead of a C285, a trader’s letter can be accepted as long as it contains the same information. Claims that do not contain the full information or the documents required for validation of the claim are to be treated as incomplete - see INCHP06250.