TaxPersonal TaxCustoms audit checks to cut red tape

Customs audit checks to cut red tape

Customs has launched a new initiative to speed up the processing of imported goods by first identifying which companies have inaccurate reporting systems.

The aim of the new procedures is to cut costs and reduce red tape by using traders’ records and systems to verify import records.

Customs & Excise audit teams are being instructed to document key controls and weaknesses in trading companies’ importing systems before allowing them to speed goods through ports.

The orders follow a National Audit Office report, which found that Custom’s staff was uncertain about the depth to which they should be carrying out checks on traders prior to approving them to use simplified import procedures.

Before giving permission for companies to use their own systems, Custom’s audit teams first have to weed out companies with poor compliance records, whose imports require to be checked physically on entry before being cleared.

The NAO said the practice at one Customs office of not carrying out detailed examinations first, before approving traders’ importing systems, risked inaccurate import declarations.

According to the report Regulating Freight Imports from Outside the European Community, from 1996 to 2000 the value of imports that went undetected by Customs increased by 275%, from Pounds 131m to Pounds 495m, but since 1998 the number of irregularities found per 1,000 declarations checked has fallen by 20%.

From 1999 to 2000 Customs collected revenue of Pounds 20.6bn from freight imports from outside the European Community. These accounted for around 48% of the total value of goods brought into the UK, and were valued at some Pounds 97bn. In total, Customs processed some 7.1 million individual import declarations during the year.

Links

New powers for Customs and Revenue

NAO report on non-EC freight impoorts

Customs & Excise online

Related Articles

Inheritance tax is 'unfit for modern society' and should be abolished, says think tank

Personal Tax Inheritance tax is 'unfit for modern society' and should be abolished, says think tank

3w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Rent-a-room relief – the survey says…

Personal Tax Rent-a-room relief – the survey says…

2m Helen Thornley, ATT Technical Officer
What should the OTS prioritise in its review of inheritance tax?

Personal Tax What should the OTS prioritise in its review of inheritance tax?

4m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

Administration LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

5m Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

Administration HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

6m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

Personal Tax HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

7m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

Administration New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

8m Emma Rawson, ATT Technical Officer
Wealthy individuals could circumvent top tax rate rises

Personal Tax Wealthy individuals could circumvent top tax rate rises

9m Alia Shoaib, Reporter