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HMRC internal manual

VAT Supplies in Warehouse and Fiscal Warehousing

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Fiscal warehouses: Definition and approval of a fiscal warehouse

The definition and approval of fiscal warehouses is set out in section 18A of the VAT Act 1994.

18A Fiscal warehousing

(1) The Commissioners may, if it appears to them proper, upon application approve any registered person as a fiscal warehousekeeper; and such approval shall be subject to such conditions as they shall impose.

(2) Subject to those conditions and to regulations made under section 18F such a person shall be entitled to keep a fiscal warehouse.

(3) “Fiscal warehouse” means such place in the United Kingdom in the occupation or under the control of the fiscal warehousekeeper, not being retail premises, as he shall notify to the Commissioners in writing; and such a place shall become a fiscal warehouse on receipt by the Commissioners of that notification or on the date stated in it as the date from which it is to have effect, whichever is the later, and, subject to subsection (6) below, shall remain a fiscal warehouse so long as it is in the occupation or under the control of the fiscal warehouse keeper or until he shall notify the Commissioners in writing that it is to cease to be a fiscal warehouse.

(4) The Commissioners may in considering an application by a person to be a fiscal warehousekeeper take into account any matter which they consider relevant, and may without prejudice to the generality of that provision take into account all or any one or more of the following—

(a) his record of compliance and ability to comply with the requirements of this Act and regulations made hereunder;

(b) his record of compliance and ability to comply with the requirements of the customs and excise Acts (as defined in the Management Act) and regulations made thereunder.

(c) his record of compliance and ability to comply with Community customs provisions;

(d) his record of compliance and ability to comply with the requirements of other member States relating to VAT and duties equivalent to duties of excise;

(e) if the applicant is a company the records of compliance and ability to comply with the matters set out at (a) to (d) above of its directors, persons connected with its directors, its managing officers, any shadow directors or any of those persons, and, if it is a close company, the records of compliance and ability to comply with the matters set out at (a) to (d) above of the beneficial owners of the shares of the company or any of them; and

(f) if the applicant is an individual the records of compliance and ability to comply with the matters set out at (a) to (d) above of any company of which he is or has been a director, managing officer or shadow director or, in the case of a close company, a shareholder or the beneficial owner of shares

and for the purposes of paragraphs (e) and (f) “connected” shall have the meaning given by section 24(7), “managing officer” the meaning given by section 61(6), “shadow director” the meaning given by section 741(2) of the Companies Act 1985 and “close company” the meaning given by the Taxes Act.

(5) Subject to subsection (6) below, a person approved under subsection (1) shall remain a fiscal warehousekeeper until he ceases to be a registered person or until he shall notify the Commissioners in writing that he is to cease to be a fiscal warehousekeeper

(6) The Commissioners may if they consider it appropriate from time to time—

(a) impose conditions on a fiscal warehousekeeper in addition to those conditions, if any, which they imposed under subsection (1), and vary or revoke any conditions previously imposed;

(b) withdraw approval of any person as a fiscal warehousekeeper, and

(c) withdraw fiscal warehouse status from any premises

(7) Any application by or on behalf of a person to be a fiscal warehousekeeper shall be in writing in such form as the Commissioners may direct and shall be accompanied by such information as they shall require.

(8) Any approval by the Commissioners under subsection (1) above, and any withdrawal of approval or other act by them under subsection (6) above, shall be notified by them to the fiscal warehousekeeper in writing and shall take effect on such notification being made or on any later date specified for the purpose in the notification.

(9) Without prejudice to the provisions of section 43 concerning liability for VAT, in subsections (1) and (2) above “registered person” includes any body corporate which under that section is for the time being treated as a member of a group.