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HMRC internal manual

Import and National Clearance Hub Procedures

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Special directions: notification of post clearance amendments to entries

General

In order to provide statistics that are as accurate as possible, Trade Statistics at Alexander House, Southend must be advised of all significant post clearance amendments to entries.

Cancellation / amendment of Post Clearance Demand Notes

General

The same care and consideration that is applied to issuing C18s should be applied to their cancellation. Any cancellation or remission must be authorised by Compliance. DCL LD 43/00.

Whether C18s are cancelled or amended, it is very important that audit trails are maintained, as this has been an area of criticism by both EU and internal audits. C18s that have been raised but not issued to the trader can be cancelled and filed according to local arrangements.

Conditions of cancellation

A C18 should only be cancelled when it has been issued incorrectly or since its issue events have occurred which means that the payment is no longer necessary. This can be because the C18 was issued:

  • to the incorrect person who was responsible for the Customs debt
  • on an incorrect basis, eg the amount due to non-production of preference certificates but is now due to incorrect valuation
  • ‘out of time’, ie outside the limits set for recovery of Customs debt outlined in INCHP06050 and the reason for delay did not involve official error
  • for amounts below the minimum recovery levels as per INCHP06400
  • for an irregularity which has no significant effect on the correct operation of temporary storage or the Customs procedure concerned. The irregularities applicable are listed in the Code Implementing Provisions.

For lack of evidence or re-export which was subsequently provided

This is intended as a guide rather than an exhaustive list. Where the cancellation applies to only part of the customs debt, the procedure of the following paragraph (Amending C18s) should be followed.

C18s should not be cancelled when:

  • recovery of the debt is proving difficult
  • the amount due is incorrect as per paragraph below
  • the C18 is out of time as a result of official error.

In these circumstances, the C18 must be formally written-off.

Amending C18s

Reductions

Reduction of the amount of debt previously notified on a C18 could be required when part of the demand is no longer due. This does not refer to ‘time to pay’ arrangements as these are considered to be a means of paying the debt rather than amendment to an established debt.

When part of the demand is no longer due, effectively reducing the customs debt, a new C18 must not be issued to the trader for the revised amount. It is not a new debt as the amount of the reductions to be treated as a remission of part of the debt previously notified on the original C18 with the rest of the debt remaining for payment.

The trader should be notified of the remission by letter (specimen provided below).

The person authorising the reduction should send the details to to the C18 Team who will amend details of the debt on Impulse. It must include a breakdown of the reduction showing the amount per tax type. The accounting officer should cancel the previous entry on the spreadsheet and make a new entry for the reduced amount to be paid using the date of the letter for reference. An audit trail should be established with the original debt.

Increased amount

The amount of the new debt should be notified in addition to the original amount and is to be treated as a new liability rather than an increase of the original debt. A C18 is to be issued for the additional amount, accompanied by a letter explaining the circumstances and the right of appeal provided it is still within 3 years from when the debt was incurred.

Suggested letter to accompany issue of C18 on headed paper as mentioned above

Date……………………………………

Dear

C18 Reference Number …………………

Date ……………………………………

Amount of Notified Debt ……………………………………………………………..

In respect of the above C18, it has now been agreed that part of the debt is no longer due. The amount of reduction is ……………………(specify amount of reduction) so that the amount due for payment is ……………………..

The reason for the reduction is ………………………………………………………………………..(specify the reason).

Payment of the above C18 is still outstanding and should be sent to customs with the remittance of payment instructions covering the remaining amount of debt due for payment.

Yours faithfully