Do we have to provide a response to all requests for assistance from Other Member States?
Yes, the UK is legally obliged to respond to all reasonable requests for assistancefrom OMS within three calendar months of the request being received. Our response rate toOMS requests for assistance is measured quarterly at EU level and by HMRC through specifickey performance indicators (KPIs) for LBS and LC.
MS can exchange useful information which does not require a response but may assistanother MS to address compliance or liability issues. Any such information received by theUK will be issued by NVC or ACCT clearly stating that it is provided for information onlyand does not legally require a response. Where any such information proves valuablefeedback should be provided to the ACCT (for alcohol) or the NVC (for oils, tobacco) toencourage continued support and goodwill from the OMS concerned.
We also shouldnt forget the potential benefits to the UK in responding swiftly.Requests from OMS may highlight risks that would have otherwise been missed, possiblyallowing us to intercept movements destined to be diverted, or make assessments for tax toUK or OMS traders.
Officers receiving requests for assistance must take note of the response date specifiedon the request, and ensure that a response is provided within that timescale. Responsesmust include full details of any irregularities, liabilities (UK or OMS) and resultingassessments.
The quality and volume of requests for assistance the UK receives will be monitored by theNVC, but you can notify any unreasonable numbers or apparently low risk requests youreceive to the NVC, so that the UK CLO may subsequently discuss any issues with CLOcounterparts in the corresponding OMS. In the meantime you must respond to all requestsreceived through a legitimate gateway.