Customs Duty Guarantees

Posted on: 23/03/2010

The rules and regulations for international trade procedures in the European Union, as you are aware, are being re-written (full implementation 2013). One of the things within the Modernised Customs Code (MCC) is the introduction of guarantees for any businesses wishing to operation duty relief procedures, eg IPR, OPR, warehousing, temporary admission procedures. UK Customs have been hoping that the Commission would allow the UK to continue with their current scheme of guarantee waivers for business but the Commission has stated that they want a consistent approach to customs procedures in all 27 member states so guarantees will have to be introduced.

This is a blow to both UK Customs and businesses and poses questions about how it will be administered, what will the guarantees have to cover and how much, do HMRC have sufficient staff and who will manage the guarantee scheme? The MCC does give a way for businesses to operate customs duty relief procedures in the future without a bond or guarantee - they can become an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO). AEOs will receive an automatic guarantee waiver. Though applying for AEO is free it is time consuming to both the businesses and customs. It would be quite an administrative burden on HMRC all businesses currently operating IPR, etc were to apply for AEO but unless something changes in Brussels this seems the only way to avoid setting up financial guarantees to continue to use duty relief procedures in the future.

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