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Meetings - archive of previous meetings


For the most recent meeting click here.

Thursday 08 May 2014


Speaker: Caroline Wilkins, HMRC, on Repayments & Remissions.


Venue: The Khan Partnership, 48 / 49 Russell Square, London WC1B 4JP.


The meeting mainly consisted of the presentation by, and discussions with, Caroline Wilkins, HMRC, on Repayment and Remission under Articles 220 and 239 of the Customs Code. 


There was so much to discuss that we ran out of time for much else, although we did discuss the implementation of the UCC, the use of the e-BTI system, and the failing of the Reviews and Appeals Team to carry out reviews within the required timescale, resulting in cases being concluded without a review having taken place.

Thursday 13 February 2014


Speaker: Jim Treherne, HMRC, on the Organisation of CITEX.


Venue: Baker & McKenzie, 100 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6JA.


Jim Treherne gave an insight into the structure and operations of CITEX and explained the current and future priorities and challenges for the Customs and International Trade team.  It was a very interesting presentation and there were many questions for Jim.


There was an update on recent JCCC and sub-group meetings, with much focus on the UCC and the Implementing and Delegated Acts. 


There were also discussions on Voluntary disclosures and C18s: the Commission's proposed Directive on penalties: the review of the Tariff Classification Service and the consultation document on Intrastat.


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Thursday 14 November 2013 - AGM


Speaker: Simon Oakes, Simon Oakes Consultancy, on Complaints and redress from HMRC


Venue: Pinsent Masons, 30 Crown Place, Earl Street, London EC2A 4ES


Simon Oakes, who is a former (now retired) Head of the HMRC Adjudicator’s Office, very kindly stepped in as Guest Speaker at very short notice.

Simon presented an informal and very informative talk on the key features and processes of the HMRC Complaints and Redress systems. Simon now runs his own consultancy practice. The content provoked much interest, many questions and detailed discussions amongst Members



The Accounts for the year-end 2013 plus the Budget for 2014 were presented by Paul Ellis. All were adopted at the meeting.

An election was held to fill the Council vacancy occurring on 14/11/2013 upon the retirement of Paul Ellis; Robert Hina was the only Member for which a Nomination had been received; his Nomination was seconded and fully supported by those Members present. Robert was duly elected to CPG Council and has volunteered to simultaneously take over the role of Honorary Treasurer from Paul.


Our CPG Chair, Barbara Scott, presented a very interesting Report (copy to be circulated) to Members, which included grateful thanks to Paul for his many years’ service to CPG as a Council Member.


Other non-AGM Agenda items discussed included: meetings attended by members; Inward Processing Relief; proposed new arrangements for JCCC; Alternative Dispute Resolution.


AOB – EU standard for Customs Competency of Representatives.


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Thursday 12 September 2013


Speaker: Phil Roberts of BIS on ADD.


Venue: The Khan Partnership, 48 / 49 Russell Square, London WC1B 4JY


Phil Richards, Trade Defence Unit, BIS delivered an extremely interesting and frank talk on the wide-ranging, UK and Commission-based work performed by his relatively small team.  The lively talk stimulated many questions from Members, who were particularly interested in the mechanisms for alerting the Trade on new ADD investigations and the implications of retrospective applications. Discussions led to new arrangements to be put in place, whereby BIS will inform CPG directly and CPG Hon Sec will circulate to Members as a matter of routine.


Barbara updated Members on the on-going exchanges with, and concerns expressed to, HMRC Senior Policy Managers on the subjects of IP / PCC; this debate will be continued at the forthcoming meeting of the JCCC CPEI Sub Group on 18 September 2013.


At the meeting Paul Ellis, CPG Council Member and Honorary Treasurer, announced his retirement, which will take place on 30 September 2013; Council decided that we will circulate Members shortly to invite a volunteer to serve on the Council and to take on the Hon treasurer’s role. CPG Council would like to place on record our sincere and grateful thanks to Paul for his many years of service stalwart efforts as Council Member and Hon Treasurer.


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Thursday 09 May 2013


Speaker: Mark Ellis, HMRC, on LVBI.


Venue:    Baker & McKenzie, 100 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6JA..   


 Mark Ellis of HM Revenue & Customs presented an update on the Review of the Low Value Bulk Import Procedure.  He explained that, in the next couple of weeks, new Terms & Conditions would be sent to the 150 operators and those that have applied but have had their applications on hold during the Review.  Once the new Terms & Conditions were agreed and returned to HMRC, they would apply with immediate effect but the operator would need to submit a new application and have an audit visit before a new approval was granted.  Packages valued between £15 and £135 must be declared as a separate item on the entry, possibly classified to 6 digit level(?).  A paper on the definition of Country of Dispatch will also be issued.


Following the presentation, there was a summary from Paul Ellis on the recent JCCC Duty Liability Sub-Group meeting, an update on the meeting earlier in the day on the Balance of Competences Review and a discussion on a proposed Customs qualification to be produced by the Institute of Export.


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Thursday 14 February 2013 – SGM


Speaker: Peter Starling, HMRC on the UCC


Venue:     Grant Thornton, Grant Thornton House, Melton Street, Euston Square, London, NW1 2EP


Peter Starling, HMRC, delivered a very interesting and informative update on the present “State of Play” in relation to the UCC, including a helpful indication of the key dates for the various stages of proposal / discussion within the European Commission, European Parliament and the European Council.


The appointment of Paul Ellis, Council Member, as Honorary Treasurer, CPG, was announced and noted.


The SGM was held, and the proposal to streamline the management of CPG funds and facilitate Internet banking by amending paragraph 4.2 of the Constitution was carried; 12 of those Members present voted in favour, plus 7 Proxy votes in favour had been received by email, there were no votes against. The Constitution will be amended accordingly.


Barbara Scott, CPG Chair briefed the meeting on important items coming before the main JCCC on 15 February 2013, including NOVA, C&E Law Modernisation and a new Review of UK / EU Competences.


Barbara also updated Members on the on-going exchanges with, and concerns expressed to, HMRC Senior Policy Managers on the subjects of IP / PCC.


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Thursday 08 November 2012 - AGM


Speaker: Penny Hamilton on Customs and Mediation

Venue:     Baker & McKenzie, 100 New Bridge Street, London, EC4.   

Penny Hamilton, our Guest Speaker, provided in the course of her presentation, a very interesting insight into "Alternative Dispute Resolution", aka Mediation. Penny also provided a very useful Handout, which has been uploaded to the Members' area of the CPG web site. Her talk triggered much discussion and many questions. ADR can potentially offer a flexible and confidential process to find a solution where opposing parties have become entrenched in their positions.


In the AGM, Mike Hodge, Treasurer, presented the CPG Accounts for the year ended 31/10/2012 and the Budget for 2013; both were adopted. Mike Hodge retired from Council at the AGM and a special vote of thanks to Mike was recorded for all his hard work over many years as Treasurer. Two Council Members - Paul Ellis and Michael Galloway - who were due to retire by rotation, had both indicated their willingness to stand for re-election, and were re-elected by the meeting. Michelle Sloane volunteered to stand for election for Council, and was duly elected. In her Chairman's Report, Barbara Scott looked back over a busy year for CPG, and one in which the Group had been regularly and productively engaged with HMRC at Policy and Senior Management levels. Barbara invited Members' views on topics of interest to them.


Other matters - Barbara provided feedback on a number of meetings attended by CPG representatives. The Open Forum Agenda item was not covered due to lack of time on this occasion.


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Thursday 13 September 2012


Speaker: Colin Davies / Andrea Head, HMRC on Authorised Economic Operator

Venue:     Hassan Khan Solicitors, 48/49 Russell Square, London WC1B 4JY

Andrea Head from HMRC Customs AEO Policy Team was the guest speaker at this meeting.  Andrea updated members on current and future issues affecting Authorised Economic Operators and emphasised that the number of applications and authorisations in the UK was not as high as in many other member states – the UK is now 7th or 8th on the list of EU countries with the most AEOs.  HMRC is concerned that the UK will lose trade to other member states when the mutual recognition agreements with third countries, particularly the US, really kick in.  It is also clear that AEO is the way forward for all customs procedures and that traders should start their preparations now and not wait until the Union Customs Code comes into force.


There were updates on recent meetings with HMRC Policy, including a meeting with the new Deputy Customs, a meeting on Low Value Bulk Imports and a joint meeting between Customs and the trade on Enhanced Remote Transit Sheds.


Jeremy White also provided an interesting summary of the ECJ Case 533/10!


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Thursday 10 May 2012


Speaker:  Claire Harrison from BIS on Export Control Licencing.

Venue:     Pinsent Mason, 30 Crown Place, Earl Street, London EC2A 4ES.


Claire Harrison, Head of Business Awareness Unit, Export Control Organisation, gave a very informative talk on strategic export controls, covering the export lists, the end use controls, the tools that are out there to help exporters and compliance.


Following the presentation, discussions covered concerns regarding the proposals for the UCC, further concerns regarding the authorisation process for IPR, the favoured option for action in relation to Community offences and penalties, and Customs audits.


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Thursday 19 January 2012


Speaker:  Paul Robbins, HMRC on Preference agreements

Venue:     Civil Service Club, 13/15 Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HJ


Paul Robbins delivered a knowledgeable presentation, which included reminders of the New GSP Rules introduced on 01/01/2011, the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement effective from 01/07/2011 and went on to outline known developments of the New GSP Scope and coverage Regulation in 2014 and the second part of the New GSP Rules in 2017. Paul also answered several Members’ questions authoritatively.


The SGM was held, and the proposal to reduce the numbers of Members’ meetings from 6 to 4 per year was carried by 25 votes to 2. The Constitution will be amended accordingly.


Mike Galloway led a discussion regarding IPR / PCC and it was agreed that CPG Council will discuss at their meeting at the end of January 2012 the action required.


Mike Hodge, CPG Treasurer, reported that £10,000.00 of CPG funds has been invested in a Bond with Barclays Bank which will mature on 12 October 2012 and return interest of 2% gross. This is a significant increase on the interest received last year.


Under AOB, the meeting heard of Ian Worth’s request for co-authors / sponsors for a Customs Duties Guide for business; whilst this will not be a CPG sponsored / endorsed publication, Ian has been invited to bring this to Members’ attention via the CPG web site Forum.


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Thursday 10 November 2011 - AGM


Speaker:  Open Forum

Venue:      BDO LLP, 55 Baker Street, London, W1U  74U.


At the 2011 AGM, the Accounts for the year-end 2011 and the Budget for 2012 were presented by Mike Hodge. All were adopted at the meeting. Barbara Scott, Mike Hodge and Gary Charles were due to retire from CPG Council by rotation; all were eligible and willing to stand for re-election; all three were re-elected, there being no other Nominations. The Chairman’s Report had been circulated to members prior to the AGM and was accepted. A special vote of thanks to Barbara Scott, CPG Chair, was recorded in recognition of her outstanding efforts and commitment to CPG.


Other non-AGM Agenda items discussed included - new members; meetings attended by members; members’ meetings (frequency / attendance / speakers). A proposal was supported to canvass members’ views on a reduction in the annual number of members’ meetings from 6 to 4 per annum.


Open Forum – topics discussed included samples; IPR (refusal for retrospective approval / reducing Throughput Periods); HMRC approach on audit visits / decision making.


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Thursday 08 September 2011


Speaker:  Caroline Wilkins, HMRC on Working with Agents / Consultants


Venue:     Laytons, Solicitors, Carmelite, 50 Victoria Embankment, Blackfriars, London, EC4Y OLS.


Caroline Wilkins gave a lively and most interesting outline of HMRC’s Agent Strategy Consultation, including plans in relation to developing the working relationship between HMRC and Agents / Consultants.

A copy of the Power Point slides will be included in the next CPG Members’ Bulletin.

HMRC has invited Members’ views, including our perception of what are the common causes of errors by businesses, and what potential benefits there are / things that might not work in HMRC plans.


Other agenda items discussed included:


  • CPG Golf Day – 05 August 2011 – date in 2012 may be moved to before / after the main August holiday period.
  • CPG Logo competition result –see also email to Members on 11/09/11.
  • AGM Thursday, 10 November 2011, at the offices of BDO.
  • HMRC Consultation on Civil Penalties – no responses from Members.
  • HMRC Customs Law (CEMA) Modernisation Project – Michelle Sloane will lead on at this for CPG.


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Thursday 14 July 2011


Speaker: Jim Repper, HMRC, on MCCIP and CPEI.

Venue:     The Khan Partnership, Solicitors, 48/49 Russell Square, London, WC18 4JY.


Barbara Scott (Chair) paid tribute to Mr Ernest Grayston, long-serving CPG member, who died recently. Members had many fond recollections of Ernie and raised a toast to his memory.


Jim Repper gave a comprehensive and interesting update on the progress on MCCIP / CPEI. Some level of certainty on the implementation timescales is expected in 2012.

Further discussion followed on the UK key areas of concern, including Guarantees, Temporary Storage, Centralised Clearance and Self-Assessment.


Other matters discussed included:


  • Meetings attended by members
  • Answers received (to be circulated) from Jan Pond, HMRC, following the previous meeting
  • C18 and Review statistics
  • ITA


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Thursday 12 May 2011


Speaker:   Jan Pond, HMRC, on Customs Debt.

Venue:  Baker & McKenzie, 100 New Bridge Street, London, EC4.   


Jan Pond gave a very interesting and informative presentation on Customs Debt and Repayment/Remission.  Jan informed members of the introduction into UK practice of the Right to be Heard and electronic payment/repayment of customs debts.


Other matters discussed during the meeting included the delay in the introduction of the MCCIP, the delay in the introduction of the C79X and problems with Processing under Customs Control.


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Thursday 10 March 2011


Speaker:   Open Forum

Venue:     Civil Service Club, 13/15 Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HJ 


An interesting range of subjects were discussed, and the lively debate was enjoyed by those members who attended. The topics included:


1, Feedback from Chairman on main JCCC held the same day & Paul Ellis on the Duty Liability Working Group meeting of 15/02/11


2. MCCIP – EU are considering delaying matters!


3. Low Value Bulking of Imports (“LVBI”)


4. Options for the printable Tariff


5. Tribunal User Group


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Thursday 13 January 2011


Speaker:  Dave Harris and Beth Earwicker from the Tariff Classification Team


Venue:      Civil Service Club, 13/15 Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HJ


There was a presentation from David Harris and Beth Earwicker on the Tariff Classification section in Southend.  This included how the section was currently staffed, the operation of issuing BTI’s, and the Nomenclature Committees in Brussels.


An EGM was held to discuss proposed changes to the Constitution regarding funds.  The proposal, as circulated to all members before the meeting, was passed unanimously.


There was brief discussion covering the operation of ICS – no major problems were reported, the proposed use of an export C79, and the situation regarding claims under the ITA following the WTO decision.


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