Import Duty \ Restricted Licence?

The Question

I am in the process of applying for a restricted operators licence in order that in the course of our business we can purchase and collect kegs of beer from Belgium for onward supply to UK customers. The UK distribution end will be handled by small vans but a hired HGV will be used to collect on a monthly basis initially. We intend to pay 'up front' for the beer but my question is - does the import duty have to be paid prior to collection to entirely transfer ownership of the product to us and therefore allow transportation on the restricted licence. (otherwise, we can defer payment of duty to the middle of the following month). regards,

The DVSA's Answer

I refer to your e – mail of 28 January, concerning the above. Please accept my apologies for the considerable delay in replying.

"Restricted licence"

A restricted goods vehicle operators’ licence is defined in Section 3 (3) to the goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995, as:

“an operators’ licence under which a goods vehicle may be used on a road for the carriage of goods for or in connection with any trade or business carried on by the holder of the licence, other than that of carrying goods for hire or reward”.

Therefore, if the licence holder is able to demonstrate that they are carrying their own goods, a restricted licence is always sufficient.
Therefore, where you are able to provide a receipt for the sale of goods to your company, then at that point they may be perceived as your own goods. (Please note: this should not be perceived as legal advice, as interpretation of the law is a matter for the courts - see below).

Where import duty is concerned, we are not in a position to advise and your bes coure of action would be to contact your local branch of HM Revenue & customs about this.

I must re-iterate that this is in VOSA’s view and does not constitute legal opinion. As this is the case, you should engage your own private legal advice on a matter such as this, if you are unsure.

I hope that the information given above has been of some help. If you have any further queries, do not hesitate to contact me. Once again, please accept my apologies for the delay in sending a full reply.


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