LICENCES & PROCEDURES (Exports)
An export licence may be needed for a wide range of goods. These include live animals, animal products, endangered species and cultural goods such as antiques over 50 years old. Also there are licensing controls on military, dual-use and cultural goods and controls on the export of ozone depleting substances, are also to be considered. A CAP licence will probably be required whenever export refund is being claimed (see below for more details).
Also please note that certain goods need a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) export licence even if they are being transferred to another EU Member State. These goods are all listed military goods, paramilitary goods and certain dual-use goods.
How do I know if I need a licence?
You should always check with the various Other Government Departments (OGDs) as to whether a licence is required.
What types of licences are there?
Licences may be issued in electronic or paper form or concessions may be granted to exporters under various Open licences.
These may be open general licences where exporters may export any quantity of specified goods to specified destinations. Open individual licences may be granted to regular exporters of licensable goods to agreed consignees. Additional conditions may be set out on the licence.
The appropriate document code (as set out in Appendix C11 of the SAD Harmonised Tariff) followed by the licence type and number must be declared in box 44 of the customs declaration. Paper licences must be presented to HMRC’s National Clearance Hub (NCH) in Salford.
With the development of electronic services various OGDs are linking their computer system into CHIEF. This will avoid the manual handling of paper licences and also allows exporters to export goods from the UK at various locations at the same time. Where an OGD interface with CHIEF is in place, CHIEF holds details of OGD licences and will validate licence data transmitted to CHIEF against information entered on the Export declaration and will automatically update those licences controlled by quantity. The first OGD to link to CHIEF was the RPA followed in April 2008 by BIS Export Control Organisation (ECO). BIS’s online Export Licence Application System SPIRE controls the issue of Standard Individual Export Licences (SIEL’s), Open General Export Licences (OGEL’s) and Open Individual Export Licences (OIEL’s).
Border Force and HMRC process the licences and enforce the controls created by EU Regulations and BIS UK legislation. If a licence is required and is not presented / quoted, the goods may be seized and the exporter and / or his agent liable on conviction to a penalty of three times the value or the goods or £ 1,000 if greater. Deliberate breaches of the regulations covering export prohibitions and restrictions can result in prosecution, with a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment, ten years in the case of BIS export licences and an unlimited fine.
Further information on export licensing is given below:
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Licences are usually needed for the export of agricultural produce, whether as raw materials or processed products. They are issued and controlled by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and policed by the HMRC National Clearance Hub, in conjunction with Border Force. The RPA will be able to tell you if a licence is required. Their CAP Import licence contact number is +44 (0)191 226 5050, or visit the RPA website.
An export licence is mandatory if you are exporting certain products. If a licence is required and is not presented at the time of export, the consignment will not be able to leave. It is worth remembering that CAP goods declared for one country of destination may need a licence, whereas the same consignment going to another country may not.
If you wish to claim a CAP export refund, there is an option available to advance fix the refund against the issue of a particular type of export licence. The RPA can tell you more about this.
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) export Licences are needed for the export of :
Military, security and paramilitary goods, firearms, ammunition, related material and explosive related goods and dual use goods to all destinations, including other EU Member States;
Radioactive sources to all destinations, including destinations within the customs territory of the Community;
Dual-use goods (a wide range of civil goods that can have a military application) to destinations outside the customs territory of the Community;
Very sensitive, or nationally controlled, dual-use goods to all destinations, including destinations within the customs territory of the Community;
Goods that you are aware, or have been informed, may be for use in connection with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or their means of delivery systems (missiles, UAV’s, aircraft);
Specific additional goods to certain destinations, covered by sanctions orders.
Many less sensitive goods to less sensitive destinations are covered by open general export licences. You can contact BIS on the export licensing helpdesk on firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the BIS website.
HM Treasury export authorisations are required for exports of goods to companies and individuals who have been designated either under United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR’s) and EU Regulations. If an authorisation is required and not presented with the export, the goods will not be able to leave. Current controls involve a number of entities located in countries subject to sanctions (see HMT website)
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Licences cover fertilisers, animals and animal products, and endangered species and are issued and controlled by DEFRA. If a licence is required and not presented with the export, the goods will not be able to leave. Current controls also involve the export of ozone depleting substances (see DEFRA website).
If you are intending to export Fertiliser, DEFRA are able to provide an export certificate to support your product overseas. Further information is available from the DEFRA Website.
DEFRA will be able to advise if a licence is required. Their general contact number is +44 (0)20 7238 6951 or +44 (0)845 933 5577 or visit the DEFRA website. EU legislation also prohibits the export of cat and dog fur and any products that contain such items.
Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) Licences issued by the Arts Council England, are required for the export of certain valuable heritage items (works of art, antiques and collectors’ items and the like), from the UK.
If a licence is required and is not presented / quoted, the goods may be seized. Deliberate breaches of the regulations covering export prohibitions and restrictions can result in prosecution, with a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) controls.
The export of certain chemicals may require export notification, or Prior Informed Consent (PIC) from the country of destination. Other chemical Exports may be prohibited outright.
You should contact the HSE before you export explosives. More information on movements of civil explosives – whether import, export, or movements within Great Britain is available form the HSE website.
You can contact the HSE Information Line on +44 (0)845 345 0055, or visit Export and Import of dangerous chemicals (PIC) on the HSE website.
Environment Agency controls
Environment Agency is the UK competent authority for enforcement of Trans-frontier Shipment of Waste (TFS) legislation applying to the export of waste shipments for disposal, recovery or recycling and so on. Such consignments can require notification or consent procedures and some categories of waste are subject to export prohibitions.
You can contact the Environment Agency 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 export of rough diamonds from the EU requires an original Kimberley Certificate to travel with the goods. Original certificates must be presented on import when requested. 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 FCO website and enter ‘Government Diamond Office’ in the search engine.
When will I need a Catch Document?
The exports of all types of Dissostichus species of fish (sometimes known as Patagonian Toothfish or Chilean Seabass or Antarctic toothfish / Antarctic Cod) require Catch documentation.
You can visit the CCAMLR (Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) website.
What are Export Preferences?
In order to help the export trade of the EU, trading agreements with certain countries have been set in place. These allow originating exports from the EU to enter the destination country at a reduced or nil rate of duty. These arrangements are not in place with every country – the destination country has to be a signatory to these agreements. See Notice 812 European Community Preferences: Trade with Turkey, Notice 827 European Community Preferences: Export Procedures, Notice 828 Tariff Preferences – rules of origin for various countries including Albania, Notice 830 Tariff Preference – new GSP Rules of origin (relevant
for any EU exports to GSP countries under Donor Country content provisions) and Notice 832 Tariff Preferences – rules of origin for Mexico for further details. Also, for South Korea please see our guide to the EU’s New Reciprocal Preferential Trade Agreement with South Korea. This Agreement came into force on 1 July 2011.
What is meant by the “origin” of the product / goods?
In order for exported products to qualify, they must have EU preferential origin and therefore have met the required origin rule.
The rules vary according to the product and the preferential trade agreement concerned. They require either that the product is wholly produced in the preference country or that it has been manufactured there in accordance with particular rules. More guidance on the specific rules can be found in Notice 812 European Community Preferences: Trade with Turkey, Notice 827 European Community Preferences: Export procedures, Notice 828 Tariff Preferences – rules of origin for various countries including Albania and Notice 832 Tariff Preferences – rules of origin for Mexico. The exceptions for South Korea may be found in our guide to the EU’s New Reciprocal Preferential Trade Agreement with South Korea.
GSP countries are allowed to use EU originating materials in products they manufacture for export to the EU under the GSP scheme. This is called Donor Country content (Notice 830 rules apply).
What evidence is required? *
There are two different ways to declare preferential origin. The most commonly used is an EUR 1 Certificate. Detailed guidance on how to complete a Certificate is contained in Notice 827 European Community Preferences: Export Procedures.
There is also a facility to use a declaration on the invoice with a legally approved form of words as an alternative. This can either be a low value declaration, (the value of the consignment is no more than £ 5700 or 6000 Euros) available to any exporter or one for Approved Exporters where no value limit applies. Notice 827 European Community Preferences: Export Procedures provides specific information relating to the facilities available for exporters to each country. For South Korea please see our guide to the EU’s New Reciprocal Preferential Trade Agreement with South Korea.
What happens to my EUR1 once it has been completed?
EUR1 Certificates have to be stamped prior to being despatched to your overseas customer. They can either be sent to the National Clearance Hub (NCH) at Salford, or be stamped by your local British Chambers of Commerce or the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.
When an exporter presents an EUR1 for authorisation, the accuracy of the claim may be checked by Customs, the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers or the British Chambers of Commerce who have been appointed by Customs to issue certificates on their behalf.
They may ask for evidence when the certificate is actually submitted in order to ensure the Origin Rules have been adhered to. Customs may also be required to verify origin up to three years after the issue of the certificate by the receiving country, so you are required by law to retain any evidence you may hold for at least that period of time.
What if an error is made?
If a request for verification from the authorities in the receiving country is made, and it is found that the goods were not entitled to preference, Customs have to report this fact to the authority. This will result in your customer having to pay the full customs duty, which in turn could affect your future trade.