Customs guidance on processes impacted by Covid-19
HMRC have issued updated guidance on processes affected by Covid-19.
During a meeting last week, a number of questions on customs processes impacted by Covid-19 were raised.
The replies to the specific questions are below.
There is also a summary of the guidance that HMRC have issued for customs and borders on Covid-19 for your information.
Requests for deferment of duty payments
Claims where the direct debit has been taken where businesses have contacted HMRC to ask for time to pay.
Q: If a direct debit has been collected from a customer that tried to agree an extended payment arrangement with HMRC but was unable to get through, can the direct debit be paid back to the customer?
A: Customers who emailed the Central Deferment Office, or who otherwise tried unsuccessfully to contact HMRC, to request an extended payment arrangement before the deadline, but had their direct debit collected on 15 April, should email the Central Deferment Office at firstname.lastname@example.org . The subject of the email should be ‘COVID-19 deferral’ and it should explain briefly how COVID-19 is affecting the business’s finances to the extent that they need to claim back the amount collected on 15 April. Claims under the Direct Debit Guarantee can only be considered for customers who made a genuine attempt to contact HMRC and qualify for an extended payment arrangement. They should be able to evidence the failed attempt to contact HMRC if asked (e.g. through telephone records/copies of emails) and will be expected to pay immediately as much of the amount owed as possible, where this does not create severe financial hardship.
Asuggestion was made that we permit temporary storage authorisation holders to extend that authorisation to new locations to ease pressure on temporary storage in ports.
The guidance that we have issued on authorisations covers this; an authorisation holder can apply to NFAU to extend their authorisation to other locations.
Please see the guidance at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/customs-authorisations-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19#changes-to-customs-authorisations
We are reviewing the requirements for INF5 forms in light of the concern raised by the Food and Drink Federation and will contact you on this in due course.