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HMRC internal manual

Import preference guidance notes

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Guide Notes: common preference irregularities: action to be taken

  • Reject and Retain - the preference document should be marked INAPPLICABLE and retained to prevent any further attempt to use it.
  • Reject and Return - the preference document should be marked DOCUMENT NOT ACCEPTED with brief reasons and returned to the importer. A ‘retrospective’ document may be presented at a later date in these cases.
  • Refer to the Tariff Preference UoE - the case should be referred to the Tariff Preference UoE for possible post-clearance verification. Consideration should be given to securing customs duty on deposit whilst the verification is undertaken.
  • Accept - the claim to preference can be allowed.

Country of origin irregularities

Nature of Error
  Reject & Retain Reject & Return Refer to UoE Accept  
           
  A preference document issued by a country that has not notified the Commission of its stamps or certifying authority (a list of these countries can be found in Volume 1 Part 7 of the Tariff)      
  A preference document issued by a country not covered by an EU preferential scheme (eg GSP Form A from Taiwan)      
  A preference document issued by a country other than the country where the goods originate (eg EUR1 /EUR-MED issued in Israel for products originating in Switzerland) subject to any special provisions concerning regional cumulation      
  A preference certificate issued by a third country in respect of Community goods re-exported in an unaltered state (eg bottles of perfume with Community status exported to Morocco and then re-exported to the EU without further working or processing) excluding trade within the EEA and EFTA      
  Box 4 on an EUR1/EUR-MED or Box 12 on a GSP Form A contains the name of a country other than the beneficiary country of export (subject to any special provisions concerning regional cumulation)      
  A replacement certificate was issued by a third country other than an EU/EFTA country (e.g. a replacement GSP Form A issued in Israel on the basis of a Philippines GSP Form A)      
  A preference certificate was issued for a country which is not a member of the EU (Box 2 on EUR1/EUR-MED, Box 12 on GSP Form A)      

 Format and completion irregularities

Nature of Error Reject & Retain Reject & Return Refer to UoE Accept
         
A preference certificate made out on a form other than the prescribed one (eg no guilloche background, differs significantly from the model in size or colour, no serial number, not printed in one of the officially prescribed languages)      
A copy or photocopy preference document rather than the original (other than documents issued by approved exporters)      
The time limit on the certificate has expired      
The goods description box (box 7 on GSP Form A, box 8 on EUR1/EUR-MED) is not filled in or refers to goods other than those presented      
One of the mandatory boxes (ie the boxes describing the goods or stating the number of packages, the country of destination or country of origin) on the preference certificate bears traces of non-authenticated erasures or alterations      
Box 4 on an EUR1/EUR-MED or Box 12 on a GSP Form A has not been filled in      
The document has not been signed by the exporter (except invoice decs etc drawn up by approved exporters where such a possibility is provided for)      
Box 8 of a GSP Form A has been left empty or is incomplete      
A wrong tariff heading is given in box 8 of the GSP Form A, but this does not affect the rule of origin which applies      
There are slight discrepancies (eg a slight difference between the real weight of the goods and that shown in the documentation or a mistake about the means of transport shown etc) between the preference documentation and the documents presented for clearance purposes, but it can be established that the certificate does refer to the product presented      
There are mistakes which are clearly of a purely formal nature, such as typing errors, and they do not cast doubt on the accuracy of the statements made in the certificate      
The registration number for the simplified procedure is missing (in the case of approved exporters) unless the number is quoted elsewhere on the document      
The date of issue is later than the date on which the goods were exported - certificate has not been issued ‘retrospectively’      
The preference certificate has not been stamped      
The certificate has not been signed or dated by the issuing authority      
The preference certificate is endorsed by a non-authorised authority      
The stamp used to endorse the document does not match that notified to the Commission      
A retrospective preference document is presented for a consignment on which the original preference document has been rejected (this does not include documents that were rejected for technical reason eg incorrect tariff heading in Box 8)      

 Indication on the preference documentation of non-originating goods

Nature of Error Reject & Retain Reject & Return Refer to UoE Accept
         
The markings on the goods or packaging or the other accompanying documents refer to an origin other than that given on the certificate      
The particulars entered on the certificate show that there has been insufficient working to confer origin