Customs and excise quarterly update May 2020

Published on 26 May 2020

In this update we report on (1) temporary changes to customs authorisations during the coronavirus outbreak; (2) the government's plans to introduce 10 new freeports; and (3) a new liability for carrying out an operation or dilution on wine. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) refusal of permission to appeal an excise duty assessment out of time; (2) the customs classification of mobility scooters; and (3) liability to pay excise duty in relation to the movement of dutiable goods under a suspension regime.


Temporary changes to customs authorisations during the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19)
On 1 April 2020, HMRC published guidance regarding temporary changes to customs policy authorisations during the coronavirus outbreak.  Read more

Extension to consultation on freeports
On 8 April 2020, HM Treasury confirmed that the consultation into the government's proposed freeport policy, which includes tariff flexibility and customs facilitations, is to be extended due to many key sectors interested in the policy, including ports, businesses and local government, experiencing disruption due to COVID-19.  Read more

Update to Excise Notice 163: wine production
On 30 April 2020, HMRC updated Excise Notice 163, to include liability for anyone carrying out any operation or dilution on wine or made-wine after excise duty has been accounted for on it.  Read more

Case reports

Coyle – Tribunal refuses permission to appeal out of time
In Michael Coyle t/a Coyle Transport v HMRC the Upper Tribunal (UT) set aside the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) for errors of law, but reached the same conclusion as the FTT and refused the taxpayer permission to appeal out of time.   Read more

Invamed – Mobility scooters attract zero duty
In Invamed Group Ltd & Others, the Court of Appeal held that mobility scooters attract zero customs duty under heading 8713 of the Combined Nomenclature, being classified as "carriages for disabled persons", rather than "motor cars and other motor vehicles".   Read more

Logfret – Taxpayer liable as guarantor to pay UK excise duty in relation to the movement of dutiable goods under a suspension regime
In Logfret (UK) Ltd v HMRC, the Court of Appeal confirmed the taxpayer was liable, as guarantor, to pay excise duty in relation to a number of movements of excise goods under the EU-wide Excise Control and Management system (the ECMS) pursuant to Council Directive 2008/118/EC (the Directive) as implemented by the Excise Goods (Holding, Movement and Duty Point) Regulations 2010 (the HMDP Regulations).   Read more

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