Indirect representation: HMRC targets freight forwarders

December 11, 2023

Freight forwarders and companies acting as indirect representatives in the UK have been feeling the pressure recently as the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is cracking down on importers who fail to pay the correct amounts of import duties.

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) reports that its members have seen a significant rise in enquiries from HMRC specifically targeting the valuation of Chinese imports into the UK, especially those cleared on a delivered duty paid (DDP) basis by the Chinese importers themselves.

When acting for non-resident importers into the UK, a resident UK company is required to act as their indirect representative. This service is usually picked up by the freight forwarder and means they become jointly liable for the import formalities, including duties, at clearance of the imported goods. This means they are held accountable for any missing duty and outstanding fines or penalties.

If you are a freight forwarder and you wish to remove your liability as an indirect representative, please get in touch. At Fiscal IOR, we provide a comprehensive indirect representation service helping you to reduce your risk when acting for non-resident importers.

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