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HMRC internal manual

Import and National Clearance Hub Procedures

Other information: glossary (expressions)

Expression Explanation
Acceptance date / time This is the official date / time allocated to the entry and is used to decide on the:
  * rate of duty or VAT in force
  * rate of exchange, and
  * eligibility of quota and preference claims.
  It is not used to decide the applicability of prohibitions or restrictions, or agricultural rates of charge that are fixed in advance.
  Although CFSP Supplementary Declarations are allocated a date / time, the rates of exchange etc are established from the tax point, this is an extra field supplied by the trader.
ADP Boxes (also called FIELDS) This refers to the coded boxes on entries and supporting forms the contents of which are input to the computer. ADP errors are (computer advised) errors in these coded boxes.
AD VALOREM DUTY Duty charged by reference to the value of the goods.
AUGER A boring tool.
AUTHORISED ECONOMIC OPERATOR (AEO) An economic operator who has met certain criteria and been audited by HMRC. They are considered to be reliable in their customs related operations and eligible to certain benefits and facilitations. The status is recognised across the EU.
CHECK DIGIT This is an alphabetic character following the numeric digits of the entry number. The check digit is calculated by the computer for every entry input.
CLEAR DAYS In calculating the number of clear days the actual day of the report is to be ignored as is any Sunday or Public holiday. Saturdays are to be included in the calculation unless it falls between public holidays, eg Good Friday and Easter Monday.
CUSTOMS WAREHOUSE The customs warehouse procedure allows non-Union goods, which are chargeable with duty or are otherwise not in free circulation, to be stored without payment of customs duty and where appropriate excise duty or import VAT.
DUTY ‘Duty’ is to be regarded as covering duty and CAP charges of all descriptions (including excise duties) MCAs, VAT and all other import charges unless otherwise stated or unless the context clearly limits its scope.
DUTY PAID OUTRIGHT When ‘outright’ is used in connection with the payment of duty it is to distinguish such payment from a deposit that will later be liable to adjustment and does not denote immediate as opposed to deferred settlement.
DUTY TO THE PREJUDICE OF THE CROWN This means the total amount charges are under-declared. It includes:
  * Customs and/or excise duties
  * VAT
  * CAP charges
  * ACA payments (a positive charge at import)
  * potential charges on goods entered for warehousing or temporary import, and
  * suspended charges on goods entered under inward processing (IP) arrangements.
  It does not include:
  * charges from which goods are relieved eg under preference arrangements
  * conditional reliefs or potential VAT on goods entered on behalf of a registered taxable person.
  To determine the total amount, any VAT over-entered for goods entered on behalf of a taxable person is not to be set off against any under-declaration of customs duty.
ENTERED ACCOUNT The quantity and value of the goods in a consignment as shown by the importer (or agent) on the warehousing entry.
EXCISE WAREHOUSE A warehouse for goods on which only excise duty remains unpaid.
FALLBACK Entry processing procedures used when the computer is not available.
GARBLING The separation of damaged portions of goods from sound portions.
IMPORT ACCOUNT The quantity and value of goods actually imported into the UK, as accepted by the examining officer after making such examination of the consignment as the instructions require. The import account excludes any deficiencies found in the entered account if the examining officer is satisfied that the missing goods were not imported, but includes any deficiencies or diversions after import but before warehousing.
IMPORT CLEARANCE STATUS (ICS) CODES Manually input or computer generated codes to indicate the status of an entry during and completion of processing.
‘IN-HOUSE’ AMENDMENT Means the (usually minor) amendment of an entry by an authorised member of staff without reference to the trader.
INTRA-UNION TRADE Trade between members of the European Union (EU).
LODGEMENT DATE / TIME The date and time of numbering the entry.
MODE A VDU operates in one of two modes:
  a. operational, and
  b. training
  The operator selects the appropriate mode when signing on and either ‘o’ or ‘t’ will appear in the top left hand corner of the screen.
PAYING AGENT The agent submits the declaration to CHIEF.
PREFERENCE The term ‘preference’ includes all preferential trading arrangements unless the term is otherwise defined or the context clearly limits its scope. A brief description of the various preferences is in Part 7 Volume 1 of the Tariff.
PRESENTATION DATE / TIME The date and time that the entry is received to Customs by the importer / agent.
PROTECTED FIELDS Areas on VDU screens that no data can be entered into.
SPECIFIC DUTY Duty charged by reference to the quantity, eg weight, number, area, volume or other similar measurement of the goods.
SPIT A pointed rod, usually of wood or metal construction.
TARE Allowance made for the weight of a container such as casks, crates, bulk containers etc.
TARIFF The Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom, published by HMRC. Commodity Code referred to are listed in the Schedule in Volume 2 of the Tariff
TARIFF HEADING In Volume 2 of the Tariff, Headings are divided into trade descriptions identified by Commodity Code numbers.
TRANSACTION Transaction is a VDU display consisting of a number fields (or boxes) into which data may be input by the VDU operator.
ULLAGE Originally this referred to the quantity of liquid (eg wine) missing from a cast or barrel. Now wider used and refers to the missing quantity of a package or consignment.
UNION GOODS Means goods:
  a. wholly obtained or produced in the customs territory of the EU and not incorporating goods imported from countries or territories not forming part of the customs territory of the Union, or
  b. imports from countries or territories not part of the customs territories of the EU that have been released for free circulation, or
  c. obtained or produced in the customs territory of the EU either from goods referred to in (b) above or from goods referred to in (a) and (b).
WAREHOUSES Warehouses are security approved by the Commission for the deposit, keeping and securing of goods without payment of duty. Security of duty is covered by bond or undertaking given by the warehouse keeper. See the Tariff Volume 3, part 3, 3.5 for more explicit descriptions of the various types of warehouses.
WAREHOUSE ACCOUNT The quantity and value of the goods actually received into warehouse and taken into the warehouse stock or register account.