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HMRC internal manual

Import and National Clearance Hub Procedures

Special directions: miscellaneous special direction

Unplanned diversions of imported goods

If an entry has been presented at the National Clearance Hub (NCH) and all or part of the consignment is diverted solely on account of transport or labour problems the goods may be cleared without the need for a new entry using a C21 entered to CPC 00 09 080.

Followed Procedure 13

These procedures are to be followed even where there is no change eg goods short shipped which arrive some day later at the originally intended place of discharge. The same basic principals apply.

The Tariff split consignment facility

The split consignment facility is distinct from the entry concessions described in the paragraph above regarding Short sea routes, First available Vessel (FAV) procedure. In particular it does not allow clearance against one entry and is intended for planned rather than unplanned split consignments.

The details of this facility are found in the Tariff Volume 3, Appendix E (CPCs 40 00 100 & 43 00 100 and Volume 2 (additional note 3 to Section XV1 and Additional note 2 to Section Xv11) for further information also see Tariff notes.

Enquiries from the Statistical office (ECSM) or accounting services

All requests from the Statistical office or Accounting services must be dealt with promptly.

Major oil pollution emergencies

In the event of a major oil or chemical spillage at sea, supplies of various dispersants and pollution control equipment may have to be imported a very short notice under the control of the Department for Transport (DfT). It has been agreed with DfT that whenever possible in such circumstances documentation will be presented in the normal way. In such cases every effort is to be made to ensure customs procedures are completed in the shortest possible time, by over-ridding selection for physical examination.

Supplies and equipment may be needed so urgently that the DfT will request movement in advance of documentation, such requests should be allowed.

If such an emergency arises the Grade 7 will be approached by the Imports Team or the DfT directly. If DfT contacts Grade 7 directly they should implement these arrangements and report the situation by immediate phone call to ECSM Imports Team who will act as a liaison point and should be consulted in the event of difficulties.

Goods delivered out of official charge

Except as provided for at the beginning of this section, no notice is to be taken of any goods after they have been delivered out of official charge unless the express sanction of Policy area involved (dependant on the goods) has been obtained or the goods are covered by the provisions of R3-21 (Rej. Imp).

Alleged errors of account must be brought to the attention of officers before goods pass out of their control.

Bulked entries

Bulked entry facilities are intended to simplify entry preparations for those importations where suppliers and / or importers bulk their supplies as a normal function of their trade.

The basic conditions under which the facility operated are listed in the Tariff, Volume 3, Part 3, paragraph 3.1.3. Single importers may take advantage of this facility without formal application if they abide by the stated conditions.

Multi importers must make written application to use this facility using an agent who will prepare the entry.

Any problems with these procedures should be reported to Customs & International Imports Team.

Central Filing Office (CFO)

All documents are stored at the Storage Centre, Totman Crescent, Rayleigh, Essex.

Phone: 01268 773727 or 01268 773747. Fax: 01268 771558 or 01268 774629.

Recall of entries from the CFO

A request for recalling an entry should be done by sending an email to CFO Rayleigh.

Request for information from an entry by Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

The BIS unit investigating fraud in anti-dumping and countervailing (anti-subsidy) may apply to this department for information on import entries. Applications of this nature should be referred to Import Policy, in Southend. Phone: 03000 593448.

Requests for entries advised as not in the CFO

When a C51 has been noted that the entry is not in their care, but with an officer elsewhere, you must request the entry directly to that officer or address. On receipt of the entry stamp the C51 and send to CFO so their records can be updated to show that you now have the entry.

Selection for disposal

On the first working day of each month all items whose destruction date fell within the previous month are to be withdrawn from storage for disposal in accordance with the Enforcement Handbook.

Where entries have been subject of a claim for remission or repayment, involving post clearance recovery action / C18 or were adjusted must be retained for at least 3 years after the end of the year in which the repayment / remission or adjustment was made or the additional charges were collected.

Delays in clearance

Claims for compensation on the grounds that clearance has been unduly delayed by Customs action are recorded by the Complaints team in Grimsby and sent to the NCH for investigation and consideration.

Compensation is not payable where delays arise from the proper processing of entries or from the proper examination of goods. Claims will only be acceptable where we are satisfied that the delay complained of arose directly from incorrect Customs actions or from the giving of faulty information.

‘Demurrage’ claims are to be closely examined so as to exclude compensation for delays due to the inability of traders to arrange delivery of cleared goods. Delays due to industrial action are not an acceptable basis for claims. The timing of rejections and re-lodgements of entries are to be carefully considered so that the responsibility of the various parties may be determined.

Claims by traders for compensation

Damaged freight (see RDG Section 5).

Claims for compensation for goods lost and damaged while in official control are to be dealt with speedily. Remember that the claim for compensation may well include an element of cost for the deprivation of use of the article in question. All claims must be labelled as ‘Urgent’ and priority given to them at every stage until the compensation claim has been approved or refused.

All claims however received need immediate reports collated from all officers with first-hand knowledge of the handling of the articles that are subject to the claim.

Reports to Grade 7 are to include details of the address and movements of the claimant and any immediate steps that have been taken, or are recommended to recover or repair the lost or damaged articles.

Where the Grade 7 considers that no member of the Department was at fault and the importer, agent or the port operator was responsible for the damage, the claim is to be rejected. If however the Grade 7 considers the claim to be valid they may authorise compensation for the damage to a maximum of £1600.

The matter is to be reported to the Complaints Team on phone: 03000 591435, email if:

  • the claimant does not accept an offer within the Grade 7s powers
  • the claim exceeds £1600
  • the Grade 7 considers that an amount in excess is warranted, or
  • an appeal against rejection of a claim is received.

Imports of gas and electricity by pipe line or cable

Following a European Court of Justice ruling, commercial supplies of fuel and power became standard rated for VAT on 1 July 1990.

Entries are not input directly into CHIEF as a traditional CIE entry. The revenue (VAT) on these entries is processed through the accounting screen IMSE in CHIEF which allows the late submission of entries of up to 5 working days after the end of the month and the revenue can be back charged to the previous month’s deferment account.

See HCOTEG111500.

Human remains

Entry, examination and report are not required for human remains, whether they are corpses or ashes of cremated corpses when they are accompanied.

If the remains are reported or unaccompanied, landing and clearance may be allowed on receipt of a written request on a suitable document.

Before delivery is allowed, evidence should be produced as follows:

  • a death certificate issued by the Civil Registrar of the place where death occurred or by any other competent government official, or
  • an official authorisation to remove the remains eg given by the local coroner, or
  • an certificate of cremation given by a crematorium authority.

Evidence connecting the death certificate etc with the importation must also be produced. These documents are not to be retained. A record of the evidence produced and the official action taken is to be made either on the request to land, or in the case of accompanied unreported remains, in the station records. No records are required in respect of ashes of cremated remains however imported.

When documentation is insufficient but there is no suspicion, delivery may be allowed provided the importer or agent gives a written undertaking to produce the necessary documents as soon as possible. Undertakings are to be noted on the record of clearance and filed pending production of documents. If there are any doubts, delivery without examination is not to be allowed without the authority of the SO.

The remains of service personnel may be delivered on production of a death certificate or other satisfactory identifying documents issued by the appropriate service authority. In the absence of suspicion, delivery may be allowed when documents are not produced provided that a written undertaking to produce then as soon as possible is given.

Note: The Department of Health requires that a coffin containing the body of a person who has died as a result of any infection including:

  • Hepatitis B
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • salmonella
  • cholera
  • plague
  • yellow fever
  • typhus, and
  • relapsing fever

must not be opened except with the approval and under the direct supervision of the Port or Airport Medical Officer, or the Medical Officer of Health for the district in which the coffin is opened.

Owing to the sensitive nature of such a consignment the CIE Team at the HUB will make every effort to ensure swift passage of the body through our controls, they do not need evidence of local police permission to release the body into the EU and again are willing to complete a C21 on the declarant’s behalf.

Human cremated ashes

The person to whom the ashes have been consigned may declare them without referral to the police or use of a funeral director. BF do not need to see any of the documents they would need to see to clear a human body. BF may be willing to complete the C21 on the declarant’s behalf.

The C88, C21, C3 and C5 are all legal documents and great care must be taken to complete the documents accurately. Declarants must keep a copy of the declaration and all supporting documents for 4 years as they may become subject to a Customs audit.