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HMRC internal manual

Tobacco Products Duty

HM Revenue & Customs
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Receipts: 3rd country imports: import account raised at registered store

The policy on import accounts at registered stores follows that for excise warehouses and you should consult X-42 for detailed guidance. Import account warehouses are few and date from the time when excise officers were in permanent attendance at warehouses.

In order to reduce the need for the initial account of imported goods to be taken at an EPU, importers were permitted to remove the goods in sealed containers to an excise warehouse for the import account to be taken by the warehouse Officer. Similar arrangements applied for registered premises.

With the withdrawal of official staff the onus has been increasingly placed on the warehouse-keeper to raise the initial account of imported goods. Although the information, which the warehouse-keeper must record, is identical to that for an import account, the account raised by the warehouse keeper is known as the “receipt account”.

There is now little advantage for a trader requesting import account facilities. This isbecause EPU processing times and the frequency of import examinations have been so reducedthat there is little difference in average transit times for tobacco product cleared atthe port. If a trader, nevertheless, requests approval for import account (receiptaccount), you should grant the request if you are satisfied that the trader is reliable.

There are no specific conditions attached to the approval for import account, except that the tobacco products are correctly entered for deposit in a registered store and are imported in secure containers. You may impose further conditions such as:

  • a system whereby the trader provides you with advance notice of expected arrivals;
  • a system whereby the trader informs you as soon as possible of unexpected arrivals, and receives official permission to unload and discharge such loads; and
  • a waiting time before the containers are unloaded (thirty minutes is suggested but the actual period is left to your discretion).

If you intend imposing such further conditions, you should agree them with LBS.

Applications for receipt accounts at registered premises should be made and approved locally. The registration letter should record the fact that receipt account facilities have been granted, together with any additional conditions