Change in approach on indirect representation for some customs authorisation holders (CIP10/2018)

Find out about the notification that indirect representatives will no longer be able to use their own simplified procedure approvals when making declarations to special procedures which are held by their customers.


The European Commission has confirmed in writing that Special Procedure (SP) authorisation holders for Inward Processing, Outward Processing Relief, temporary admission, End-Use Relief and private customs warehousing have rights and obligations as laid down in the authorisation issued in line with article 211 of the Union Customs Code. The holder of the procedure and the holder of the authorisation has to be the same person.

Consequently the holder of the authorisation must be the person who makes any declaration using their Special Procedure authorisation (see article 170 (1) of the Union Customs Code). The holder of the authorisation may be directly represented (see article 18 of the Union Customs Code) by a person who acts in their name and on their behalf but cannot be indirectly represented by a person acting in their own name.

Where simplified procedure authorisations are used, HMRC has always maintained that the authorisation holder must make the declaration in their own name. The holder of the authorisation may be directly represented but cannot be indirectly represented.

Declaring goods to a Special Procedure using Simplified Procedures

Where an agent wants to use their own simplified authorisation on behalf of a customer, they need to represent that customer indirectly, as the declaration must be made in the name of the person who holds the authorisation. It is impossible for an agent with a simplified procedures authorisation (for example Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) for imports or simplified declaration procedures for exports) to make a declaration to a Special Procedure, where the Special Procedure authorisation is held by another legal entity, as both parties are required to be the declarant.

HMRC recognise that current holders of simplified procedures, acting as indirect representatives for customers who hold Special Procedure authorisations, will need some time to consider the options, consult with their customers and implement necessary changes to their business model. We intend to allow representatives to use their simplified procedure approvals, even where they are making declarations to a Special Procedure authorisation controlled by another legal entity, until 1 April 2019.

The options available as of 1 April 2019 will be as follows.

If a Special Procedure authorisation holder wishes to continue empowering an agent to act on their behalf then either:

Where this changes have not been made after 1 April 2019 we will consider Civil Penalty action.


Peter Bennett House
Redvers Close
West Park Ring Road
LS16 6RQ

Telephone: 03000 528013


SP holders should send the C&E48 Simplified Procedures application form to Leeds Authorisation and Returns team. If a company is a large business and has a customer compliance manager the application should be sent to them.

Issued on 2 August 2018 by Customs Directorate, HMRC.

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