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HMRC internal manual

Strategic Goods and Services: Assessment of risk and offence action

Assessment of risk and offence action - goods subject to control by end-use

LR-End WMD End Use Control

Action to be taken where BIS advise that the goods are capable of being used in relation to nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and related missiles. Once BIS have advised the exporter that the goods are caught by the end-use control, the goods may not be exported without a licence. Where enquiries fail to establish that the exporter knew or had grounds to suspect at the time the goods were presented for export, no offence will have been committed and the goods cannot be seized. However, a signed/Dated undertaking must be obtained before returning the goods.

  • Maintain detention of the goods.
  • Inform Border Force, Fraud Investigation Service (FIS Customs A/B) of BIS’s advice that the goods are caught under the end-use control (“catch-all”) Article 4 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009.

 

  • Although the goods are now prohibited for export without a licence an offence only arises if an attempt to ship is made after being informed of this requirement.  “At the time the goods were presented for export or transhipment the exporter or transhipper knew or had grounds to suspect that the goods were intended or likely to be used in relation to nuclear, biological or chemical or related missiles.”
  • consider whether local follow-up action is likely to find evidence of “knew or had grounds to suspect”.

 

  • If “guilty Knowledge” is established, contact Customs Enforcement Policy or FIS Customs A/B teams for authority to seize the goods.
  • If no “guilty knowledge” is established; Inform the exporter that the goods may not now be exported without a licence and can be returned to his possession on recipt of a signed LR End Use Letter of Undertaking which can be found at SGSAROA14196.
  • Copy all received undertakings to Fraud Investigation Service (FIS Customs A/B)
  • If the exporter makes a second attempt to export the same goods to the same consignee, because BIS has informed him of the licensability of the goods due to their end-use, they are now liable to seizure on the authority of the Customs Enforcement Policy or FIS Customs A/B  Teams.
  • Notify details of the case to CENTAUR.

LR-Mend Military End-Use Control

Action to be taken where BIS advise that the goods are for a military end-use. Once BIS have advised the exporter that the goods are caught by the military end-use control, the goods may not be exported without a licence.Where enquiries fail to establish that the exporter knew or had grounds to suspect at the time the goods were presented for export, no offence will have been committed and the goods cannot be seized. However, a signed/Dated undertaking must be obtained before returning the goods.

  • Maintain detention of the goods.
  • Inform Border Force, Fraud Investigation Service (FIS Customs A/B) of BIS’s advice that the goods are caught under the end-use control (“catch-all”) Article 4 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009.
  • Although the goods are now prohibited for export without a licence an offence only arises if an attempt to ship is made after being informed of this requirement.  “At the time the goods were presented for export or transhipment the exporter or transhipper knew or had grounds to suspect that the goods were intended or likely to be used in relation to nuclear, biological or chemical or related missiles.”
  • consider whether local follow-up action is likely to find evidence of “knew or had grounds to suspect”.

 

  • If “guilty Knowledge” is established, contact Strategic Exports and Sanctions Team for authority to seize the goods.
  • If no “guilty knowledge” is established; Inform the exporter that the goods may not now be exported without a licence and can be returned to his possession on recipt of a signed LR Mend Letter of Undertaking which can be found at SGSROA14197.
  • Copy all received undertakings to Fraud Investigation Service (FIS Customs A/B)
  • If the exporter makes a second attempt to export the same goods to the same consignee, because BIS has informed him of the licensability of the goods due to their end-use, they are now liable to seizure on the authority of the Customs Enforcement Policy or FIS Customs A/B  Teams.
  • Notify details of the case to CENTAUR.

 

For all end use Controls

Detention Period

  • The statutory detention period is 30 days (CEMA Schedule 2A, para 2(2)); there is no legal provision to extend it. It is a straight 30 days, not 30 working days. BIS have an export licence issue target of ‘70% in 20 days’ so this should be within that. If a satisfactory licence is presented within 30 days you can release the goods so the export can go ahead.

Action to be taken when an exporter takes no steps to withdraw goods or apply for an export licence.

  • If a licence has not been presented within 30 days, the goods may be seized under the same provisions as they were detained (s.139(1) and 53(12) of CEMA). The owner then has one calendar month (not 30 days) to challenge the seizure by submitting a Notice of Claim to BF. If no NoC is received within that period, the goods are deemed forfeit under para 5 of Schedule 3 to CEMA and may be disposed of.
  • If a valid NoC is submitted, BF must start condemnation proceedings (para 6 of Schedule 3 to CEMA) but they could be stopped if a licence was presented later. BIS secondary export licence issue target is ‘99% in 60 days’.