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HMRC internal manual

Import and National Clearance Hub Procedures

Import and National Clearance Hub Procedures: recent changes

Below are details of the amendments that were published on 12 July 2011 (see the update index for all updates)

Section Details of update
INCHP01000 Overview:

Deleted- and the National Warrant Processing Unit in Edinburgh, though other sections of Revenue and Customs, other Government departments and traders will have an interest.

Deleted- The Integrated Tariff of the UK contains the Commissioners Directions relating to the entry of imported goods. Volume 3 with Volume 1 contains information on the completion of entry forms and document, import duties and taxes, classification of goods, prohibitions and restrictions, Customs Procedure codes (CPCs), preferences and reliefs from duty.

Deleted- A comprehensive list of Notices (except on VAT) is in Volume 1, Part 15 of the Tariff. VAT Notices are listed in VAT Notice 700/13.    
    The law:

Deleted- With the introduction of a single clearance hub at Salford it has become necessary to re-write C2-3. It is a requirement under EU law that imports are declared to the customs authority and any duties and import VAT paid. The customs authorities are obliged to process entries and clear goods into the UK market with minimum burden on the trade. To verify accuracy selective checks on import entries are carried out before and after clearance.

Deleted- The legal basis for the procedures outlined in this guidance is:

Added- Customs Controls on Importation of Goods Regulation 1991, SI 1991/2724 as amended by The Customs and Excise (Single Market etc) Regulation 1992, SI 1992/3095

Added- Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) 1979

Added- Customs Traders (Accounts and Records) Regulations 1995, SI 1995/1203

Added- Civil Penalties Statutory Instrument 2003/3113 The Customs (Contravention of a Relevant Rule) Regulations

Deleted- Council Regulation (EEC) 918/83

Systems objectives:

Deleted-, so we can

Added- Public counter

There is no public counter at the National Clearance Hub (NCH). However, deliveries and collections by courier are possible between 0800-1800 Monday to Friday and outside these times either by prior arrangement or on a ring-as-you-arrive basis. Face to face access to managers and trade liaison specialists at the NCH is by appointment only.

Added- Import Control System


HMRC ICS webpage    

Other notices relevant to this guidance are:

Deleted- Notice 501 A brief Guide to Importing Procedures

Deleted- Notice 990 Excise and Customs Appeals

Added- Excise and Customs Appeals

Excise and Customs Appeals     
    Special Territories:

Deleted- For the comprehensive list of Special Territories please consult Volume 1 of the Tariff

Added- The Aland Islands (Finland), The Canary Islands (Spain), The Channel Islands (UK), The French Overseas Departments, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinque and Reunion, Mount Athos also known as Agion Poros (Greece) and the Vatican City.    
  INCHP02020 General: Authorised Economic Operators (AEO):

Deleted- AEO is governed by EC law. The basic law is set out in Council Regulation 648/2005, amending Council Regulation 2913/92 and Commission Regulation 1875/06, amending Commission Regulation 2454/93.

An AEO is an economic operator who, by virtue of satisfying certain criteria, is considered to be reliable in their customs related operations throughout the European Community and is therefore entitled to a number of benefits (see Notice 117 for details). Depending on the type of AEO certificate granted these can include either easier access to certain customs simplification and safety controls, or both.

Under Regulation 1875/06 article 14b, AEO benefits include lower risk scoring facilitation at the frontier, priority treatment if selected for checks and easier access to customs simplifications.

AEO status must be taken into account when dealing with the international supply chain or when dealing with any business that holds the status.

If an issue is discovered which could affect the AEO status this must be reported to the AEO central site (

To check who holds the status there is apublic database    
  INCHP02040 Added- AEO is governed by EU Community law. The basic law is set out in Council Regulation (EEC) 2913/92, as amended by Council Regulation 648/2005 and Commission Regulation 2454/93 (the Implementing Provisions), as amended by Commission Regulation (EEC) 1875/2006.

The introduction of AEO status is the EU’s response to the need to secure international supply chains and the introduction of Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) in the USA and the development of the Safe framework of standards in the World Customs Organisation.


Deleted- already in the Hub    
  INCHP02060 Import entry requirements:

Added- All goods imported into the EU must be covered by an import declaration submitted/lodged with the National Clearance Hub at Salford.

Any person may appoint a representative (agent) to perform the acts and formalities laid down by Customs rules. There are two types of representation.

Direct where they act in the name of and on behalf of another person or;

Indirect where they act in their own name but on behalf of another person.

If they make a customs declaration in their own name, but for a potential customer, they will be liable for any customs debt that arises upon the acceptance of the declaration by HMRC.

If they do not state the representation on the customs declaration or they are not empowered to be a representative of another, then they will be deemed to be acting in their own name and on their own behalf.

If they delegate a task to a sub agent then the sub agent is bound by the type of representation they have agreed with the principal.

A full definition of both types of representation is set out below.

Direct representation

When they make a customs declaration acting as a direct representative on behalf of a principal, for example, the declarant, the principal will be liable for the customs debt. They and any sub agent will have no liability for the customs debt.

The agreement between them and the principal must provide, either implicitly or explicitly, for the delegation of tasks to a sub agent in order for the sub agent to be empowered to represent the principal. If such a provision is absent, then the sub agent will not be empowered to represent the principal in making a customs declaration. If they do nevertheless, the sub agent may also become liable for customs debt.

Indirect representation

When they make a customs declaration acting as an indirect representative on behalf of a principal, both they and the principal will be liable for the customs debt. We will be entitled to seek payment from either they and/or the principal.

If they delegate the making of a customs declaration to a sub agent, then the sub agent will become liable for the customs debt along with the principal, but not them. This is because they have not made the declaration nor have they the responsibility for performing the acts and formalities required by customs rules.

Empowered/authorisation of a direct or indirect representative

The scope of their authority to act as a direct/indirect representative can be inferred from    
  INCHP02080 General: Public counter: Deleted- Moved to INCHP01000
Added - Waiver of Customs Duty and VAT; Consignments of Negligible Value    
  INCHP02100 Pre-lodgement of entries: Deleted- The provision of a 24/7, 2 hour………
  INCHP02120 Deleted - moved to INCHP02080
  INCHP02140 General: presentation of entries to Customs: Added- Import declarations……
  INCHP02480 General: substitution of entries: Added- Definition of substitution…….
  INCHP03150 Lodgements of documents: Deleted- INF5s Inward Processing
  INCHP05000 Accounting
General - Deleted-Since June 2003 all accounting functions have been performed centrally in Southend.    
  INCHP06050 Special Directions: Added- Conditions for repayment under Article 237
Special Directions: Deleted- Under code 239……..    
  INCHP07000 Customs warehouse removals
General- Deleted- removed under warehouse scheduling procedures, and      
  INCHP09125 Examination of goods: Deleted whole page - INF documents selected for Route 1 by profiles E221 and RO11 INF5 Inward processing…….