Imported goods – special customs measures
HMRC have introduced temporary changes to the requirement that importers must hold an original copy of the ‘proof of preferential origin’ certificate in order to release goods into free circulation. The temporary change has been necessitated due to the exceptional circumstances brought about by the eruption of the Icelandic volcano and the subsequent ash cloud which has caused chaos to the UK skies.
In order to alleviate the problems for importers, HMRC will exceptionally accept scanned or faxed copies of the ‘proof of preferential origin’ certificate. The new guidance is effective from 22 April until 31 May 2010 for imports affected by the volcanic ash problems.
Importers can fax or scan a copy of the original preference certificate (GSP Form A, EUR1, EUR-MED or ATR Movement Certificate). The customs import entry must therefore indicate in Box 44 that the necessary proof of preferential origin is held, together with the serial number of the faxed or scanned certificate and its relevant document code. HMRC have said that failure to include the appropriate document status code will result in a security requirement.
Once the situation has resolved itself, the original documents must be obtained and held by the importer for presentation to HMRC as and when required.