Central accounting points: New simplified duty deferment guarantee arrangements (EPSS)
Simplified duty deferment guarantee arrangements which can reduce the security level required to nil have now been introduced. The Excise Payment Security System (EPSS) replaces the Excise Duty Guarantee system.
The Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, Section 127A provides for the Commissioners of HMRC to make provision for the excise duties on prescribed goods to be deferred subject to conditions or requirements imposed under Regulations or by the Commissioners. The Excise Duties (Deferred Payment) Regulations 1992 provide that security for the duty shall be required in such form and manner as the Commissioners may require.
Anyone making deferred payments of excise duties when goods (alcohol, tobacco and oils) are removed to the UK home market from an excise warehouse or upon importation will be required to provide an excise duty guarantee.
However traders may become authorised to defer or make payments without a guarantee, providing that they meet the eligibility and authorisation criteria. This mirrored the Simplified Import VAT Accounting (SIVA) criteria, with an additional check on excise debt history.
The criteria will be relaxed for those trading beneath the VAT registration threshold. Eligibility has so far been based on VAT compliance checks, rather than excise history, but this may change. There should be a requirement of 3 years approval or registration in an excise payment regime, and the successful applicant for EPSS must also be eligible for duty deferment, according to the criteria in Notice 179 paragraph 10.4.
Application for EPSS
If traders already hold a guarantee to defer payments of excise duty, then they can apply for authorisation, although in certain circumstances, even without a guarantee, they can apply. . Application forms are available to download from HMRC’s internet site, on the ‘FAQs’ page accessible from the ‘Excise & Other’ homepage.
Once completed the Application form should be sent to:
EPSS Authorisation Team
8 Ruby Place
The EPSS Authorisation Team may be contacted on 03000 521242
Simplified Import VAT Accounting (SIVA)
NB: This has now ended due to EU-wide changes in import-export procedures. Where traders were deferring import VAT, they could also apply to be authorised to reduce the level of guarantee for import VAT purposes.
Traders can obtain an EPSS application form by contacting the Helpline on 0300 200 3700, or from the EPSS team at the above location.