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The ins and outs of an HMRC Health Check and how it can help your business

CML’s Global Logistics Manager Paul Bambrough-Smith's in-depth knowledge of the industry is invaluable. With his expertise at the helm it allows CML to provide a unique service to its customers; an HMRC Health Check.

Paul Bambrough-Smith

CML’s Global Logistics Manager Paul Bambrough-Smith has been a vital part of the team for over 24 years and during his time he’s worn many hats. From working within supply chain management, to import and export accounting, customs compliance, and trade finance, his in-depth knowledge of the industry is invaluable and with his expertise at the helm it allows CML to provide a unique service to its customers; an HMRC Health Check.

But what exactly is an HMRC Health Check and how can it help your business? As an examination and analysis of your company and current working practices, CML considers it to be a vital part of any business’ logistics process as it can ensure businesses are making the best possible use of the HMRC regimes and other duty discounting procedures.

Non-compliance of HMRC practices and standards leaves your business at risk of a number of penalties. These can include fines, unexpected charges levied for underpaid duty over several years, increased audits and the associated HMRC ‘flag’, delays in the clearance of goods, and removal of duty relief. And, when it comes to additional HMRC authorisations, non-compliance can also mean your business experiences reduced success in obtaining the go-ahead when applying. A Health Check will take a look at all of these things to ensure efficiency and cost-saving.

So, how does it work? Paul and the team will step into your business on a consultancy basis, making on-site visits and spending time with those relevant people within your organisation; whether it’s import and export clerks or accountants and purchasing staff. It’s essential we get to know the nuts and bolts of your company so that we’re in the best possible position to provide tailored advice. And you won’t find any industry jargon here, designed to baffle and upsell, but rather advice in plain English and straightforward answers to your questions.

During our time with your company, we will;

  • Check a sample of your import shipments in order to establish the accuracy of the customs declaration.
  • Check a random sample of your products to make sure that the correct commodity code is being presented to HMRC.
  • Check that all of the necessary documents are available for an HMRC audit.
  • Help you create a tailored routine for internal audits.
  • Ensure that all of your supporting documentation meets legislation and agrees with the declaration.
  • Confirm that all relevant authorisations are in place between customer and forwarder.
  • Ensure all necessary costs and payments are included correctly, including commissions and royalties.

When working alongside you, we’ll discuss your business model, import routes, supply chain, and purchasing methods to see whether there are any HMRC regimes available that would be beneficial. Similarly, we can advise on the use of Letters of Credit and the terms contained within them, along with usance bills and import loan solutions provided by the bank.

CML recently provided a Health Check for Phoenix Whirlpools and were able to implement an internal audit procedure as well as assist with the completion of a simplified import VAT accounting application to reduce the required bank guarantee for deferment. Alongside this the team identified the correct tariff codes for a wide range of products which in turn reduced the duty liability going forwards and allowed the business to reclaim previously overpaid duty. Finally, the possible solutions for their sales network in a post-Brexit landscape were discussed - a topic that is becoming more and more important to think about as we edge closer to 2019.

Paul and the team believe that an HMRC Health Check is a vital element to your business and can be beneficial for all, no matter what the sector. As well as ensuring your company is fully compliant with HMRC, saving you money in potential fines and unexpected charges, a Health Check can be an invaluable way to create efficiencies within your business - to discover more, click here.

Whatever your query we’re here to help – please get in touch to discover how Paul and the team can help you and your business.

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