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HMRC internal manual

Strategic Goods and Services - BIS Export Licensing and Sanctions - General

Issuing and presentation of licences: goods destined for other EU member states - presenting SIELs to HMRC

This message is for traders who are controlled by HMRC Local Compliance. Large Businesses should contact their Client Relation Manager

The EU is a customs union with no internal frontiers. While intelligence-led and risk-based anti-smuggling checks may be carried out on goods moving between member states, no routine processing of documents is carried out. Therefore, UKBA officers at ports and airports are not able to check licences and documentation for goods destined for other EU member states.

HMRC is responsible for checking intra community movements covered by export licences and arrangements are in place for licences to be ‘presented’ inland at HMRC CITEX (Customs, International Trade and Excise) offices in Southampton. This should be done via e-mail to

Compass House
Romsey Road
SO16 4HP

Tel: 023 8079 7000
Fax: 023 8079 7280

In accordance with the conditions of the licence the exporter/licensee must quote the number of the licence to the proper officer of HM Revenue and Customs at least three working days before the date of the proposed export identifying a location where the listed items can be inspected at any time during those three days, or comply with alternative arrangements as agreed with an officer of HM Revenue and Customs*. Additionally the licensee/exporter must:

  • maintain records of all transactions carried out under the licence,
  • present a copy of these records each time the licence is ‘presented’ to HM Revenue & Customs,
  • permit these records to be inspected and copied by any person authorised by the Secretary of State or the Commissioners,

inform the Export Control Organisation (“ECO”) when the licence becomes exhausted.

Checks to be made on a risk assessment basis:

  • check on SPIRE that the licence is valid;
  • check that the licence has not expired (note that even if quantities of specified goods are exhausted, specified technology may still be exported until the expiry date);
  • check that the quantities decremented by the trader agree with those shown on the commercial export documents.

Consider whether you wish to arrange with the trader to examine the goods to verify that they are as described on the licence.

*Please note that the arrangements set out in the previous paragraph do not apply to firearms covered by the EC3 transfer document which are being transferred under the terms of the EC Weapons Directive 91/477EEC.

If you have any comments or queries about the information in this notice which you cannot resolve by contacting CITEX Southampton, please contact Andy Smith at:

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)