Tolley's Customs Duties Handbook

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The only compilation of UK and European provisions for Customs Duties, the Customs Duties Handbook is an essential guide for specialist tax practitioners, lawyers, FDs, and HM Customs and Excise. The handbook covers all recent developments to UK and European legislation and is split into four parts as follows:

1. Statutes
2. Statutory instruments
3. European material, including the Community Customs Code and Implementing Code (as amended)
4. Extra-Statutory Concessions

Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer. Any European material in this work which has been reproduced from EUR-lex, the official European Communities legislation website, is European Communities copyright.

Additional Information:

2012 Edition

Tolley's Customs Duties Handbook 2012 is designed to complement Tolley's Yellow and Orange Tax Handbooks and the Excise Duties Handbook as an indispensable source of the tax legislation currently in force. The Handbook covers customs duties, the product-based excise duties and air passenger duty.

The Handbook is intended to provide busy practitioners and others working in the area of Customs and Excise with a useful collection of highly relevant materials.

Community Customs Code
The book is of particular benefit to practitioners because it reproduces the Community Customs Code and Implementing Code (Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 and Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93) as amended.

Union Customs Code Proposal
As at November 2012 the Modernised Customs Code (Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 450/2008) was expected to be "recast" as the "Union Customs Code" before it became applicable by 24 June 2013.
The implementation of a major part of the processes to be introduced by the Modernised Code depended on the definition and the development of a wide range of electronic systems. However, it was likely that only a very limited number of new customs IT systems would have been introduced by 2013. The Commission has committed to align all basic acts to the requirements of the Lisbon Treaty, and some further changes to the Modernised Code were also required to account for developments since the Modernised Code was adopted in 2008.
The recast Regulation will enter into force for most purposes at the latest by 24 June 2013. A transitional period ending on 31 December 2020 is designed to allow for the development of customs IT systems. The European Commission presentation of 26 April 2012 to the European Parliament on the Union Customs Code is available at

Alcohol and tobacco
Alcoholic liquor duties
The rates of duty on all types of alcoholic liquor are increased by 5.1% (2% above the retail prices index) with effect from 26 March 2012.

Under ALDA 1979 s 22, manufacturers of "British compounds" and "spirits of wine" may reclaim excise duty that they have paid on these products when they are exported from the manufacturer's premises or placed in a warehouse for certain approved purposes: this is referred to as "drawback". Identical provision is already made for exports under the drawback regulations (SI 1995/1046) and drawback in other circumstances is thought undesirable and possibly in breach of European law. As a consequence, it was decided to repeal all the drawback provisions in primary legislation, with effect from 17 July 2012.

For cigarettes, the ad valorem element remains at 16.5% but the specific duty per 1,000 cigarettes is increased by £12.46 to £167.41 (an increase of 8.04%). Duty on cigars and other smoking and chewing tobacco is also increased by 8.04%. These changes came into effect at 1800 on 21 March 2012.

Hydrocarbon oil duties
Under FA 2011 s 20, increases of 3.02 pence per litre in the duty on the main road fuels and equivalent increases in the effective rates of duty on non-road fuels were due to take effect on 1 January 2012. Those increases were deferred to 1 August 2012 by SI 2011/2904 and SI 2011/3604 respectively. These increases are again deferred, on this occasion to 1 January 2013 by FA 2012 s 188. As at November 2012 it was unclear whether the planned increase would be deferred further and announced during the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.

Air passenger duty
General increases are made to air passenger duty from 1 April 2012 and its scope was extended to private jets.
A new reduced-rate band is introduced for certain flights from Northern Ireland, and provisions are made to devolve the administration and charge of air passenger duty on long-haul flights out of Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

For 2012 Edition


Daniel Meredith Editorial team member
Jeremy White Editorial team member