Legal Responsibilities

An important message from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
You need to read this if you export goods from the University.

If you are an exporter (including temporary goods) or use a freight agent to declare goods to customs on your behalf, you are legally responsible for the accuracy of the information given in the declaration. To assist your agent in making an accurate declaration HMRC recommend that you supply the following basic data to the agent making the declarations.

Below is a check list which is not mandatory, yet may help all parties in improving compliance and avoiding Customs Civil Penalties (CCPs) (Public Notice 301) or incurring a Customs Debt as a result of non compliance with an export procedure. They have set out basic information that we feel should be provided by exporters.

They recommend that Exporters should always supply :

  • Their UK Traders Unique Reference Number (TURN) (VAT number plus 3 digits) for use in Box 2 of the declaration. The University’s TURN number is our Vat number plus ‘000’.
  • Details of whom the goods are to be consigned to.
  • The Commodity Code (if known) and also a clear and unambiguous description of the goods, their quantity, marks and numbers.
  • You do not need to complete an export declaration if your goods are destined to a European Union (EU) member state. Your agent will know the countries in the EU.
  • If the goods are destined to a country outside of the EU the final destination must be advised to your agent (even if the goods transit through other member states).
  • Shipping/Flight details (if known).
  • Correct value of goods and correct currency code.
  • If the goods have been previously imported, or are to be re-imported to a Customs Relief, your agent needs to know this so that the correct export procedure code (CPC) can be quoted. If an incorrect CPC is used, it can lead to any Customs relief on Duty and VAT (previously claimed at import), being liable for payments/repayment by you. If the appropriate CPC is known, this should be quoted on the export papers supplied to agents. They may still wish to verify the code if incorrect. Any reference numbers previously issued by Customs such as Inward Processing Relief, Outward Processing Relief authorisations or previous declarations should also be provided.

Many export regimes may require additional data eg Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) consignments, Excise movements, goods ex. Warehouse etc ….. so always ask your agents if you need supply anything else? Freight Agents are regarded as specialists in their field and are there to assist traders wishing to export.

Following the declaration being made, they strongly advise that you ask your agent to supply you with an official HMRC export reference. This may be the actual Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR) used or the Export Entry Reference (EPU, Entry Number & Date). What they need to ensure is that the transaction is easily traced in our records when they come to audit and assure our business.

The information above is a guide to assist you, as the Exporter, in submitting accurate export declarations, through your agents, to Customs. This, in turn, should give us better export records and improved evidence of export. This evidence will support claims for VAT zero rating on exports. If you require further assistance on data requirements for exports or you wish to discuss this paper you can contact the HMRC Unit of Expertise in Cardiff.

NES Helpdesk on 02920386254/55



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