Crackdown on Storage Companies

I was concerned to find out that there is growing evidence that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have begun a campaign to target warehouse keepers and hauliers who may unknowingly be handling excise goods on which the duty has yet to be paid. Companies found guilty of storing goods with duty outstanding could face heavy fines, even if they were unaware that duty was unpaid.

The UK Warehousing Association said the following:

“HMRC is deploying more officers to investigate excise goods supply chains,” says Alan Powell of Alan Powell Associates, UKWA’s honorary adviser on Customs & Excise Matters.

He continues: “As a result, we are now increasingly seeing third party service providers, including hauliers, warehouse keepers and lessors of property, such as barns and outbuildings, being penalised by HMRC as a result of their involvement with businesses that have evaded duty on alcohol and have absconded – so called ‘missing traders’.”

Anyone found to have held or dealt in duty-unpaid excise goods, can be fined up to 100% of the duty evaded.

Alan Powell says: “Always be wary and query the business need, checking out with HMRC if possible.  If in any doubt, do NOT become involved – it could end very badly.”

For further advice please contact UKWA on 0207 836 5522.

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