Changes to excise authorisations for freight movements
Updated 18 December 2020
This guidance focuses on changes to excise authorisations that will apply to businesses making excise freight movements involving Northern Ireland from 11pm on 31 December 2020.
Changes for UK registered consignors, consignees and tax representatives.
Only traders with an ‘XI excise ID’ will be able to start and close movements of excise goods in duty suspension between Northern Ireland and EU member states.
Check moving excise goods as freight under the Northern Ireland Protocol from 1 January 2021 for more information.
If you’re an excise trader based in Northern Ireland you will automatically receive an XI excise ID in the post. If you do not receive an XI excise ID you’ll keep your existing Great Britain excise ID and be able to continue to receive excise duty suspended movements within the whole of the UK but only dispatch movements within Great Britain.
If you’re an existing excise trader and believe you qualify for an XI excise ID but have not received it, you can contact the National Registration Unit to enquire.
Excise duty suspended movements from Great Britain to the EU via Northern Ireland
This section does not apply to excise duty suspended movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland that are not destined for the EU.
If you move excise goods from Great Britain to the EU via Northern Ireland
You’ll need to make 2 duty suspended movements on the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) to move excise goods from Great Britain to the EU, via Northern Ireland. This is set out in moving excise goods as freight under the Northern Ireland Protocol. The second EMCS movement can only be started by traders approved as registered consignors for Northern Ireland.
Registered consignors based in Northern Ireland will be able to use their XI excise ID (which begins XIRC) to begin the duty suspended movement when the goods are imported into Northern Ireland.
Warehousekeepers and registered consignors based in Great Britain who do not operate a Northern Ireland warehouse will no longer be automatically able to begin duty suspended movements from Northern Ireland for goods destined for an EU member state.
If you’re a warehousekeeper or registered consignor based in Great Britain
If you’re a warehousekeeper or registered consignor based in Great Britain and intend to move excise goods in duty suspension from Great Britain to the EU via Northern Ireland you must either:
- appoint an existing Northern Ireland registered consignor (an import agent) to act on your behalf to begin the duty suspended EMCS movement once the goods are released to free circulation in Northern Ireland
- apply to HMRC to amend your existing Great Britain warehousekeeper or registered consignor approval to include approval as a Northern Ireland registered consignor so that you can begin the second EMCS movement.
Find more information on opening EMCS movements.
If you apply to amend your existing approval
If you apply to amend your existing approval to include approval as a Northern Ireland registered consignor, you’ll:
- receive a new ‘XI’ excise ID
- be able to start excise duty suspended movements for goods that enter Northern Ireland destined for EU member states
You can contact the National Registration Unit to enquire and apply to amend your existing approval.
Using the duty off-set mechanism
Updated 18 December 2020
This guidance focuses on the duty off-set mechanism for UK excise duty paid goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland from 11pm on 31 December 2020.
Different rules and processes apply to goods moving in excise duty suspension from Great Britain to Northern Ireland and goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.
The duty off-set mechanism
The alignment to EU excise rules in Northern Ireland means a new excise duty charge arises when excise goods enter Northern Ireland from Great Britain. This charge arises even where duty has already been paid on the goods when they were released for consumption in the UK.
To avoid paying duty twice in the UK and the administrative burden of reimbursement claims, the duty off-set mechanism means that although a charge arises as the goods enter Northern Ireland, and even if the goods are not in duty suspension, there will be no need to pay additional duty at this point in almost all cases.
Using the duty off-set mechanism for freight movements
The duty off-set mechanism credits the amount of UK excise duty that has already been paid on the goods against the liability to pay the charge to excise duty that arises on entry to Northern Ireland. The duty off-set mechanism will be accounted for through the import declaration made using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), which will be required as the goods enter Northern Ireland.
Find out more information about customs processes for moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland and using CDS to make declarations.
To apply the duty off-set mechanism, when you make your import declaration in CDS (using the import AI code ‘NIDOM’ for an arrival from Great Britain) you’ll need to calculate the amount of excise duty that is payable on entry to Northern Ireland, then take this figure and subtract the UK excise duty already paid from it.
You must maintain a record of your duty off-set calculations in your revenue trader records. Find more information about the requirements for revenue traders to maintain records.
In most cases where you make a duty off-set calculation the two amounts will be the same and no additional excise duty will be payable. In this case, you do not need to use any excise override codes when making your declaration.
There may be some limited circumstances where the UK excise duty already paid on the goods is less than the amount chargeable on entry to Northern Ireland. This might, for example, be because of a routine duty rate change between the time the UK excise duty was paid in Great Britain and the time the goods arrive in Northern Ireland.
In these cases, you’ll need to pay the difference in duty as part of the declaration process. To account for the additional duty you must use the manual override ‘OVR01’ in box DE2/2 and enter the amount of excise duty you have calculated you need to pay in the ‘AMOUNTS’ box in CDS. You’ll also need to record the calculation in your revenue trader records.
If the duty already paid is more than that to be charged on entry to Northern Ireland the difference is not reclaimable. This is a revenue protection measure. In this case, you’ll still need to make a declaration using CDS and record the calculation in your revenue trader records, but you’ll not need to use any excise override code.
Using the duty off-set mechanism for post and parcels
Further guidance to follow on excise goods moving as post or parcels.