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HMRC internal manual

Strategic Goods and Services: Assessment of risk and offence action

Notes about examination of goods

  • Be alert to the hazardous nature of certain goods and the need for precautions before examination is carried out.
  • Examine shipping marks and marks and labels on goods internal packages for evidence of:
  • Goods misdescribed as innocent goods on the documentation, particularly if the destination is sensitive; or
  • An intention to divert the goods to a sensitive destination, if the destination is non-sensitive.
  • If you have difficulty in identifying pieces of elaborate equipment, call for a copy of the invoice and any available technical brochure or specifications but do not encourage the exporter to apply for a licence until you have completed any potential enforcement action.
  • If there are grounds for suspicion that the goods are subject to licensing take action as per section SGSAROA6000.

You may not examine goods in diplomatic bags. Other export and transhipment consignments being shipped by foreign governments are not exempt from examination and may be examined.