LICENCES & PROCEDURES (Imports)

When you import, you may come across a number of licensing requirements, these include;

Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Licences

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Licences

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Documents

Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Permits

European Commission Licences

Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) Licences Forestry Commission Licences

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) controls

Office of Communications (Ofcom) Licences and

Health certificates for certain High Risk Feed and Food products.

What are Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Licences?

If you import agricultural produce, whether as raw materials or processed goods, CAP Licences are usually needed. They are issued and controlled by The Rural Payments Agency (RPA). The HMRC National Clearance Hub, in conjunction with Border Force is responsible for the policing of the licences at the time the goods are imported.

How will I know if I need a CAP licence?

When you have established the commodity code or codes relevant to your product, the RPA can advise you whether a licence is needed. If a licence is needed and is not presented at the time of importation, the goods will not be allowed to move from the port / airport. It is worth remembering that CAP goods being imported from one country may need a licence, whereas the same goods coming from another country may not.

CAP licences can be issued to control certain aspects of imports, for example to restrict the quantity of a certain type of goods being imported from a certain country, or to restrict the quantity of a product which gets a preferential rate of import duty.

You can contact the RPA on their CAP Import licence number +44 (0)191 226 5050 or visit the RPA website.

What are Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Licences?

You may need to apply to BIS for a licence to import a small range of products, currently certain textiles, iron and steel products, firearms and ammunition, anti personnel mines, torture equipment and military equipment originating in or consigned from North Korea. They are issued by the BIS and enforced by HMRC and Border Force.

When you have established the commodity code or codes relevant to a product falling to the above list, BIS will be able to advise you whether you will need to apply to BIS for a licence. If a licence is needed and is not presented at the time of importation, the goods will not be allowed to move from the port / airport. It is worth remembering that goods being imported from one country may need a licence, whereas the same goods coming from another country may not.

The import of nuclear and radiological materials is administered by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) (part of the HSE) and the import of chemical weapons by the Chemical Weapons Authority part of the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) using BIS’s import legislation.

These import licences are issued by these bodies respectively and not by BIS’s import licensing branch. Further details on ONR and DECC licences can be found further down this section.

BIS import licences are usually issued to implement an International, European and UK domestic wide licensing requirement such as restriction on the quantity that is allowed to be imported for example.

for textiles originating in Belarus

for monitoring purposes, iron and steel

or to implement prohibitions and restrictions on :

torture equipment and firearms

specific additional goods from certain destinations, covered by sanctions orders.

The import licensing branch at the BIS can be contacted on +44 (0)1642 364333 / 334, or visit the BIS website.

What are Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Documents? If you import meat, poultry, dairy products, some other foodstuffs, live animals, blood, plant or plant products, endangered species or fur, a DEFRA licence, permit, certificate of conformity and / or a Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) will usually be required.

When will I need a Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Document? *

Live animals and goods such as meat, poultry, and their products, dairy products (including milk and eggs), animal bones or blood, sausage skins and fishery products are required to undergo veterinary health checks at a Border Inspection Post (BIP) on arrival in the UK. In addition to the veterinary documents required by the BIP, a Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) issued by the BIP will normally be required to obtain customs clearance.

Certain fish and fishery products require under the Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Regulation (IUU) a valid catch certificate for consignments entering the EU.

Full details of all of the above controls can be found on the DEFRA website.

The Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) implemented by EC Regulation prohibit the import and export of certain endangered species and products made from them or contained in them without a valid CITES permit or notification. Endangered species include tigers, rhinos, monkeys, parrots, birds of prey, crocodiles, tortoise, turtles, tortoise shell, orchids and cacti. Items made from or including endangered species are also subject to the same controls such as bags, belts, shoes made from the skins of endangered species, caviar, ivory carvings or statues and Traditional Asian Medicines that contain ingredients such as tiger bone, bear bile and orchids. This is not an exhaustive list and further information can be obtained from DEFRA or on the CITES website . You should be aware that some species are not listed in the CITES convention but are still protected and prohibited under the EC Regulations, therefore you should always check with DEFRA before importing. The presentation of a valid CITES permit does not permit the by-pass of other import controls on live animals or plants.

Before planning the importation of any animal, importers must firstly check what import licence and certification is required. Certain pets may be imported without the need to

undergo quarantine if they comply with the conditions of the Pet Passport Scheme. The pet passport scheme only applies to pet cats, dogs and ferrets.

Certain plants, plant produce and plant products are prohibited from entering the UK from non-EU countries. It may be possible to import and keep prohibited material for trial or scientific purposes or for work on varietal selections, subject to strict quarantine and containment conditions under the authority of a licence issued by the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) – now incorporating Plant Health but formally part of DEFRA / National Assembly for Wales (NAW) / SGRPID (formerly SEERAD) for Scotland and DARD for Northern Ireland.

In general, all plants and some plant produce and products that are permitted to enter England, Wales and Northern Ireland from non–EU countries must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate.

In Scotland, all plants and some plant produce and products that are permitted to enter Scotland from non -EU countries must be accompanied by a phytosantary certificate and a quarantine release certificate (QRC). The QRC is issued by SGRPID (formerly SEERAD).

All imports of fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts subject to EU Marketing Standards required a recognised certificate of conformity before release into free circulation within the European Union, until new EC legislation which came into force on 1 July 2009 relaxed HMI conformity controls at import on a range of Fruit and Vegetables. This legislation also removed the requirement for a processing certificate for all Fruit and Vegetables. RPA Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate will continue to issue conformity certificates for importations controlled under Special Marketing Standards (SMS) entering England or Wales, SGRPID (formerly SEERAD) for Scotland and DARD for Northern Ireland.

The Automatic Licence Verification System (ALVS) provides an interface between Government systems enabling lead government departments, initially the RPA (HMI) and DEFRA (FERA), to be responsible for providing their import control decisions (hold, release, refuse) directly to HMRC, thereby removing the need for manual documentary checks by Customs officers.

ALVS is dependent upon Advance Notification being made into DEFRA’s PEACH system, before traders (and their agents) submit an import declaration to HMRCs CHIEF system. ALVS was fully launched on 16 February 2010.

Feed and Food products of non- animal origin (for example grain) imported into the EU must also comply with feed and food safety requirements. High Risk Feed and Food products have to be pre-notified to health authorities and can only be imported through approved ports and airports. A Common Entry Document (CED) endorsed by the Port Health Authority will be required to obtain customs clearance.

A list of the high risk products, country of origin can be found at Annex 1 of Commission Regulation (EC) 669/2009 as amended.

Further information can be found on the Food Standards Agency Website.

Ash Trees

A ban on all movements and imports of ash trees came into force on 29 October 2012. The import of ash plants, trees and seeds from EU and non – EU countries into Great Britain is prohibited until further notice. Exceptions to the ban are imports that are accompanied by

phytosanitary certificate declaring that they originate from disease free countries. Similar legislation has been issued in Northern Ireland.

Aflatoxins

From 1 January 2010, a new Commission Regulation (EC) No 1152/2009 imposed special conditions governing the import of nuts, figs, dried fruit and certain products made from those food items from certain non -EU countries due to contamination risk by aflatoxins, and repeals and replaces Commission Decision 2006/504/EC.

These special conditions include that these specified products have to be pre-notified to health authorities and can only be imported through approved ports and airports. A Common Entry Document (CED) endorsed by the Port Health Authority will also be required to obtain customs clearance.

Information about the specific foodstuff and country of origin can be found at Article 1 of Regulation 1152/2009.

The furs of all harp and hooded seal pups are prohibited under national legislation. From 20

August 2010, all products from pinnipeds (seals, sea-lions and walruses) will be prohibited.

The only exceptions will be products that :

Are for personal use, of travellers or where there is a change of residence;

Result from traditional hunts conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities and contribute to their subsistence; or

Result from hunts regulated under national law with the sole purpose of the sustainable management of marine resources and where the products are marketed on a non-profit basis.

The last two exceptions will need to be covered by a seal attestation issued by the country where the animal was killed.

The fur of certain other animal species may only enter the European Union (EU) if accompanied by evidence of their humane capture and legal origin. EU legislation also bans the import of cat and dog fur and any products made from such fur.

Imports of fertiliser where the consignment is MORE than 500KG and has an Ammonium Nitrate content of MORE than 28% should have a valid Exemption Certificate issued by the Health and Safety Executive or a valid Detonation Resistance Test Certificate (DRT) in English. These imports should be advised to DEFRA prior to import taking place. Further information on this is available from the DEFRA website.

You should contact DEFRA on their general helpline number +44 (0)20 7238 6951 or +44 (0) 845 933 5577 or visit the DEFRA website for details of the specific import requirements for all of the above goods.

When will I need a Forestry Commission Inspection Document?

Certain types of timber and forestry products must be covered by an inspection document issued by the Forestry Commission to be cleared by customs.

You can contact the Forestry Commission on +44 (0)131 334 0303 or +44 (0)845 367 3787, or visit the Forestry Commission website.

phytosanitary certificate declaring that they originate from disease free countries. Similar legislation has been issued in Northern Ireland.

Aflatoxins

From 1 January 2010, a new Commission Regulation (EC) No 1152/2009 imposed special conditions governing the import of nuts, figs, dried fruit and certain products made from those food items from certain non -EU countries due to contamination risk by aflatoxins, and repeals and replaces Commission Decision 2006/504/EC.

These special conditions include that these specified products have to be pre-notified to health authorities and can only be imported through approved ports and airports. A Common Entry Document (CED) endorsed by the Port Health Authority will also be required to obtain customs clearance.

Information about the specific foodstuff and country of origin can be found at Article 1 of Regulation 1152/2009.

The furs of all harp and hooded seal pups are prohibited under national legislation. From 20

August 2010, all products from pinnipeds (seals, sea-lions and walruses) will be prohibited.

The only exceptions will be products that :

Are for personal use, of travellers or where there is a change of residence;

Result from traditional hunts conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities and contribute to their subsistence; or

Result from hunts regulated under national law with the sole purpose of the sustainable management of marine resources and where the products are marketed on a non-profit basis.

The last two exceptions will need to be covered by a seal attestation issued by the country where the animal was killed.

The fur of certain other animal species may only enter the European Union (EU) if accompanied by evidence of their humane capture and legal origin. EU legislation also bans the import of cat and dog fur and any products made from such fur.

Imports of fertiliser where the consignment is MORE than 500KG and has an Ammonium Nitrate content of MORE than 28% should have a valid Exemption Certificate issued by the Health and Safety Executive or a valid Detonation Resistance Test Certificate (DRT) in English. These imports should be advised to DEFRA prior to import taking place. Further information on this is available from the DEFRA website.

You should contact DEFRA on their general helpline number +44 (0)20 7238 6951 or +44 (0) 845 933 5577 or visit the DEFRA website for details of the specific import requirements for all of the above goods.

When will I need a Forestry Commission Inspection Document?

Certain types of timber and forestry products must be covered by an inspection document issued by the Forestry Commission to be cleared by customs.

You can contact the Forestry Commission on +44 (0)131 334 0303 or +44 (0)845 367 3787, or visit the Forestry Commission website.

When will I need a European Commission Licence?

The import of certain ozone depleting substances (ODS), fluorinated greenhouse gases (Fgas) and products which contain them (for example certain fridges or aerosols) is either prohibited or requires the authority of an import licence issued by the European Commission.

For further information see F gases and ODS – How do I comply?, on the DEFRA website. What are Health & Safety Executive (HSE) controls? *

HSE are the UK Competent Authority for administering approvals for imports of many chemical and explosive substances. These include:

Explosives – The importation of explosives is prohibited unless accompanied by a transfer document (or a certified true copy) known as a Recipient Competent Authority (RCA) document. These documents are issued by HSE. The prohibition applies to all countries – EU Member States and non EU countries.

Chemicals that are subject to “Prior Informed Consent” (PIC) legislation;

Chemicals subject to the “Persistent Organic Pollutants” legislation – pesticides / herbicides and the like.

“Carcinogenic Substances” – the importation of certain carcinogenic substances, covered by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) 1988 Regulations are banned unless covered by an exemption certificate, but otherwise are covered by PIC requirements.

Asbestos – The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 prohibits the exposure to asbestos products or of products containing intentionally added asbestos. The prohibition on the importation, supply of and use of asbestos products and of products to which asbestos has intentionally been added to is now covered by REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulations 2006).

REACH – (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals)

Fireworks – The Fireworks (Amendment) Regulations 2004 introduced a border control designed to ensure the safety requirements applying to the storage of fireworks immediately following importation are complied with. Imports of fireworks therefore need to include the address of the premises where the fireworks will be stored included in Box 31 or 44 of the C88.

Ammonium Nitrate – Imports exceeding 500kgs of Ammonium Nitrate (AN) from outside the EU must be accompanied by a valid Detonation Resistance Test (DRT) certificate or HSE exemption certificate. If you manufacture, import, supply or keep ammonium nitrate which is to be used other than as a fertiliser, you can apply for an exemption certificate by writing on your company’s letter headed paper to :

Mines Quarries and Explosives Policy

Health and Safety Executive

Rose Court

2 Southwark Bridge

LONDON

SE1 9HS

Tel : +44 (0)20 7717 6262

Fax : +44 (0)20 7717 6690

Email : explosives.policy@hse.gsi.gov.uk

You can contact the HSE Information line on +44 (0)845 345 0055, or visit the HSE website.

When will I need an Office of Communications (Ofcom) Licence?

The import of certain radio equipment (particularly if it transmits the human voice) may be prohibited except with the authority of an import licence issued by the Office of Communications.

You can visit the Ofcom website or contact them by phone on +44 (0)845 456 3000 or +44 (0)20 7981 3040.

When will I need a Health Certificate?

Imports of certain feed and food products of non-animal origin on the basis of known or emerging risk are to be subject to an increased level of official controls at approved point of entry. A Common Entry Document (CED) endorsed by Port Health Authority will be required to obtain customs clearance.

Further information is available via the Food Standards Agency website.

What are Environment Agency controls?

Environment Agency is the UK competent authority for enforcement of Transfrontier Shipment of Waste (TFS) legislation applying to the import of waste shipments for disposal, recovery or recycling and the like. Such consignments can require notification or consent procedures.

You can contact the EA TFS helpline on +44 (0)1925 542265 or email NATTFS@environment-agency.gov.uk or visit the International shipments of waste page on the Environment Agency website.

When will I need a Kimberley certificate?

The import of rough diamonds from outside the EU requires an original Kimberley certificate. Original certificates must be presented on import and will be forwarded to the Government Diamond Office. Failure to do this may result in the diamonds being detained or seized, and losing their conflict-free status under the Kimberley Process.

You can contact the Government Diamond Office at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on +44 (0)20 7008 6903 / 5797 or via email GDO@gtnet.gov.uk or visit the Foreign & Commonwealth office website and enter ‘Government Diamond Office’ in the search engine.

When will I need a Catch Document?

Current EU catch certification and import clearance requirements are set out in Council Regulation (EC) No. 1005/2008 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1010/2009. Further information can be found on the DEFRA website.

The imports of all types of Dissostichus species of fish (sometimes known as Patagonian Toothfish, Chilean Seabass or Antarctic toothfish / Antarctic Cod) also require Catch documentation. To find out about the catch document scheme, visit the CCAMLR (Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) website.

When will I need an Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) Licence?

For safety and security reasons, nuclear materials are amongst those commodities that may not be imported under the Open General Import Licence (OGIL) unless consigned from a Member State of the European Community and therefore require individual import licences.

ONR (Office for Nuclear Regulation) has the responsibility for issuing import licences. Importers must apply to ONR for a licence to import the following nuclear materials from outside of the European Community.

Tariff Heading 2612 – Uranium Ore concentrates

Tariff Heading 2844 – Plutonium, Uranium 233, Uranium enriched in the isotopes 233 or 235, natural Uranium and mixtures, compounds and alloys containing any of the foregoing, including spent or irradiated nuclear reactor fuel elements (cartridges)

It should be noted that in order for the UK to meet its international obligations, it is unlikely that a licence would be granted to import nuclear materials from a state not party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

Further information on this is available from the Office of Nuclear Regulation Website.

When will I need a Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) import licence?

For chemical weapons. Schedule 1 and 2 chemicals listed in the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) other than those imported for Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) exercises must be accompanied by the appropriate Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) import licence. DECC is the national authority for the CWC. You should contact:

The Chemical Weapons Convention National Authority

Department of Energy and Climate Change

Room G.01

3 Whitehall Place

LONDON

SW1A 2AW

Tel : +44 (0)300 068 5939

Fax : +44 (0)300 068 6772

Email : cwcna@decc.gsi.gov.uk

Website : www.decc.gov.uk

Offensive Weapons

It is prohibited to import flick and gravity knives as per the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 (ROWA). There are also restrictions on the import of a number of weapons covered by Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (CJA 1988) as set out below.

The list of prohibited Offensive Weapons as per Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 as amended apply to the following descriptions of weapons, other than weapons of those descriptions which are antiques:

  • a knuckleduster, that is, a band of metal or other hard material worn on one or more fingers, and designed to cause injury, and any weapon incorporating a knuckleduster;
  • a swordstick, that is, a hollow walking-stick or cane containing a blade which may be used as a sword;

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