Milton Keynes hosts one of Border Forces and HMRC’s new Inland Checking facilities. These facilities were proposed initially to target the 50 current highest-risk traders from the rest of the world but in the event of a ‘no deal’, HMRC will also use these sites for compliance activity relating to high risk EU traders.
The inland customs clearance sites were anticipated to initially focus on high risk goods that are used in undervaluation fraud such as Chinese footware and textiles that the EU’s anti fraud body OLAF alleged in a 2017 report, were being undervalued which had enabled an evasion of €1.98bn in EU custom duties. Undervaluation works where imports are declared at a much lower value than the customs valuation of the product. The Customs duties are therefore lower, occasionally even lower than the value of the raw components (cotton for example) in textiles.
Measures have since been put in place by HMRC to cut down on illegal and undervalued goods, to protect the UK economy and genuine traders. Some of the measures include the trialling of pre-clearance checks on high risk consignments where goods pulled for check will undergo examination and sampling.
If a decision is reached that the goods have been undervalued, a request will be made for funds to cover the value of the underpayment of Duty and VAT prior to release. HMRC will directly contact the importers of any consignments that are selected for the pre-clearance checks with details of any delays and required actions.
Goods that are released following the pre-clearance checks will be returned to the original storage facility, for collection as originally planned. If goods are seized, they will be securely stored until court action, or the goods are disposed of.
In the event of a ‘no deal’ in order to avoid delays and congestion at the border, legislation already allows for goods to be directed to inland custom clearance centres and for those high risk goods and traders, transports could be sent to Milton Keynes for Customs Clearance.
If you have goods or transports seized at Milton Keynes, Altion Law are lawyers specialising in UK Border Force and HMRC disputes and have an office in Milton Keynes. We can assist with Seizures Of Goods, Cash, Property Or Vehicles as well as MTIC Fraud, VAT, Acquisition Tax or Undervaluation Fraud allegations. If you would like to have a confidential discussion with a member of our team, if you complete our contact us form, we will call you back at a time that is suitable for you or you can contact us directly on 01908 414990.