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HMRC consults on voluntary standard for customs intermediaries


Published: 07 Jun 2023 Update History

The government’s proposal aims to improve the quality of service provided across the customs intermediary sector.

On 5 June 2023, HMRC published a consultation on the introduction of a voluntary standard for customs intermediaries. 

The consultation seeks views on: 

  • the objectives and format of a voluntary standard;
  • how a voluntary standard could be designed and implemented;
  • the content of a voluntary standard; and
  • training for the intermediary sector to support the introduction of a voluntary standard. 

The consultation will run until 30 August 2023. 

The consultation follows a call for evidence that took place in 2022. It found that 99% of traders relied solely on an intermediary to declare all their trade.  

Many traders reported that they received at least a satisfactory service from intermediaries. However, they raised concerns about the lack of intermediary knowledge and experience. This sometimes led to incorrectly completed declarations, which could cost traders additional time and money. 

The call for evidence considered several approaches to improving standards, ranging from market-led solutions to licensing. However, at the current time, the government has decided that a voluntary standard is the best approach. 

The objectives, format and content of the proposed voluntary standard are the subject of this consultation. It might include requirements in the following areas: 

  • competence, education and/or experience;
  • commitments to continuing professional development;
  • customer service, including complaints procedures and timelines;
  • system requirements, including quality assurance processes; and
  • administration, including record keeping and insurance.

ICAEW’s Tax Faculty intends to respond to the consultation. It welcomes views from members. If you have comments, please contact Ed Saltmarsh by 4 August.  

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