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HMRC internal manual

Temporary Storage and Approved Depositories

Temporary storage operators in administration or liquidation/receivership

Action all depends on who owns the goods.

if the Temporary Storage operator owns the goods: then action as at 1

if importer owns the goods action is required as at 2

1a. Action by the Supervising Officer (UKBF/CITEX) when the TS operator owns the goods

As soon as any Officer is aware that the TS operator has gone into administration, receivership or liquidation they must liaise with the NFAU and the Supervising Officer (NFAU hold data on Supervising Officers for each Temporary Storage facility) immediately. The Supervising Officer should notify the NCH who will inform UKBF about securing goods.  The Insolvency Practitioner (IP) should be advised not to accept any further imports into that particular TS facility.

The following details must be established:

  • the name and address of the TS operator
  • the TS operator authorisation number and EORI number
  • the date of appointment of the Insolvency Practitioner (IP) with their name and address
  • the amount of Customs duties, including VAT due to the department for the period up to the date of appointment of the IP. If possible additionally specific details of the stocks taken over by the IP and the potential Customs Duty and VAT due on the goods on their removal to free circulation.

The Supervising Officer should then forward all relevant information together with a copy of the NFAU TS approval and annexes to the National Insolvency Unit (NIU) in Liverpool:

  • the details of all goods remaining in the TS facility and any other liabilities for example goods in Transit
  • the IP must obtain permission from the Supervising Office before disposing of any goods. Import duties will be payable on any T1 goods that are declared to free circulation
  • both the importer and the IP are accountable for any customs duty liabilities incurred after the date of their appointment.

1b Action by the National Insolvency Unit (NIU)

As soon as all the information has been received, the NIU will write to the IP to lodge a claim and advise them of the terms and conditions of the TS approval granted to the TS operator in administration, receivership or liquidation.

They should advise:

  • permission must be obtained from the Supervising Officer before disposing of any goods held in a TS facility
  • payment of Customs duty, VAT will be due on any goods that are declared/diverted to free circulation
  • where applicable, a demand for any outstanding charges will be submitted in due course for the period prior to the appointment of the IP
  • the IP will be liable and accountable for any Customs duty liabilities incurred in respect of any goods held under the TS approval after the date of their appointment.

Note: Should the IP request that the business is allowed to continue and goods still be allowed into TS (which may be the case where a company is in administration) this may be approved provided that an additional guarantee to secure any customs duty and import VAT that may become due is obtained.

The IP can not sell the goods as this is in contravention of the Union provisions.

2. Action by Supervising Officer when the importer owns the goods

If the Importer owns the goods then immediate action must be taken to secure any goods placed in the TS facility. UCC Regulation 952/2013 Article 148 2 provides for Customs to take all necessary action to deal with goods that have not been assigned by the due date.

The following action should be taken:

  • information of all un-entered cargo must be obtained from the NCH and the goods should if possible be removed by HMRC/UKBF to another storage facility
  • an enquiry letter (goods not entered should be issued to the importer by the NCH, this should be copied to the TS operator
  • you should allow reasonable amount of time that is at least 10 working days from the date of issue of the enquiry letter for the importer or their representative to reply. You should consider sending the letter to the importer by recorded delivery
  • if the letter has not been returned with the necessary information by the time you have set for the reply then you should consider how to regularise the situation, that is issue C18.