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HMRC internal manual

Temporary Storage and Approved Depositories

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Arrival of goods in the UK: examination of goods and taking of samples

Notification of selection goods for examination and or sampling

Customs authorities have the power to ask that goods are made available for examination and or sampling. Notification should be made to the declarant or his representative and the temporary storage operator. A reasonable time limit should be set in which to make the goods available.

For information on the procedures to be followed see INCHP.

Request for samples

A written request should include the following details:

  • name and address of applicant
  • location of goods
  • number of the summary declaration where this has already been made
  • indication of previous Customs procedure
  • the means of identifying the means of transport on which the goods are
  • any other information necessary for identifying the goods
  • located
  • any other information necessary for identifying the goods

Customs Authorities should indicate their authorisation on the request presented by the person concerned. Where the request is for the taking of samples customs must indicate the quantity of goods to be taken. Prior examination of goods and the taking of samples are to be carried out under customs supervision. Customs are to specify the procedures to be followed in each particular case.

The person concerned must bear the risk and the cost of unpacking, weighing, repacking and any other operations involving the goods. They must also pay any costs in connection with analysis.

Where the result of an examination of the samples destruction or irretrievable loss occurs, no debt is deemed to have incurred. Waste or scrap resulting from destruction shall be assigned a customs procedure or re-export prescribed for non Union goods.

Authority to determine where an examination is to take place

Customs may allow the person in charge of the goods to examine or take samples from them. Any request to take samples must be made in writing giving notice to the control Customs office. Requests to allow examinations may be allowed orally unless you require a written notification.

Customs request to take sample goods

To sample goods in temporary storage for control purposes you should notify the person in charge of the goods of your intention to sample them. You should set that person a reasonable deadline for making the goods available to you.

Where there are problems in making goods available for sampling you should proceed with the examination at the declarant’s risk and expense.

Requests to examine outside normal working hours

Each request should be judged on its merits. EU legislation provides for examination to take place other than at approved places and normal working hours.

Any request by the operator for examination to take place outside Customs normal working hours will require an application for official attendance.

EU Regulation 952/2013 Article 134.2

The holder of the goods under customs supervision may, with the permission of the customs authorities, at any time examine the goods or take samples in particular in order to determine their tariff classification, customs value or customs status.

EU Regulation 952/2013 Article 188

The customs authorities may, for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of the particulars contained in a customs declaration which has been accepted:

  1. examine the declaration and the supporting documents
  2. require the declarant to provide other documents
  3. examine the goods
  4. take samples for analysis or for detailed examination of the goods.

EC Regulation 952/2013 Article 188

The customs authorities may, for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of the particulars contained in a customs declaration which has been accepted (c) examine the goods.

EU Regulation 2447/2015 Article 238

Where the competent customs office has decided to examine the goods in accordance with Article 188 (c) of the code or take samples in accordance with Article 188 (d) of the Code, it shall designate the time and place for that purpose and shall inform the declarant thereof.

At the request of the declarant, the competent customs office may designate a place other than the customs premises or a time outside the official opening hours of that customs office.

EC Regulation 952/2013

Article 189 (1)

Transport of the goods to the places where they are to be examined and where samples are to be taken, and all the handling necessitated by such examination or taking of samples, shall be carried out by or under the responsibility of the declarant. The costs incurred shall be borne by the declarant.

Article 189(2)

The declarant shall have the right to be present or represented when goods are examined and when samples are taken. Where the customs authorities have reasonable grounds for doing so, they may require the declarant to be present or represented when the goods are examined or samples are taken or to provide them with the assistance necessary to facilitate such examination or taking samples.

Samples shall be taken in accordance with the methods laid down in the provisions in force.

Article 189(3)

Provided that samples are taken in accordance with the provisions in force, the customs authorities shall not be liable for payment of any compensation in respect thereof but shall bear the costs of their analysis or examination.

Article 189.2

The declarant shall have the right to be present or represented when goods are examined and when samples are taken. When the customs authorities have reasonable grounds for so doing, they may require the declarant to be present or represented when the goods are examined or samples are taken or to provide them with the assistance necessary to facilitate such examination or taking of examples.