Customs – Re-export of goods
HMRC have issued a new ‘Customs information paper’ following the publication of a recent ECJ decision. The ECJ heard two joined cases from UK businesses concerning the incorrect use of Customs Procedure Codes (CPC) on the re-export of goods which had been originally imported into the UK under the duty suspension regime.
When the goods were re-exported an incorrect CPC was used (10 00 instead of 31 51). HMRC took the view that the use of an incorrect CPC gave rise to a duty debt. HMRC would not then agree to requests from the businesses concerned to revise the declarations. The businesses appeared to have acted in good faith and were not obviously negligent.
The ECJ ultimately ruled that traders are permitted to revise the export declarations provided that HMRC is satisfied that the objectives of the customs procedure have not been threatened. This mainly relates to being able to verify that the goods have been re-exported and that appropriate measures can be taken to regularise the use of incorrect CPC code.
HMRC now intends to review cases where businesses have:
- Submitted a protective claim under Articles 236/239 of the Customs Code
- Lodged an appeal with the VAT & Duties Tribunal and had that appeal stood behind the lead cases
HMRC will not review any claims by businesses that had customs debts prior to 14 January 2007 in circumstances where no protective claims were submitted or where an appeal was not stood behind the lead cases. HMRC will consider reviewing claims from this time period if it can be established that unforeseen circumstances or force majeure applied.