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HM Revenue and Customs Brief 8/16 - Exporter information

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Purpose of this brief

The purpose of this brief is to explain that, from 8 April 2016, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will start to publish certain information relating to exporters and the goods they export. This is intended to facilitate trade, boost UK growth and help exporters to find new markets. It also explains how businesses can ‘opt-out’ from having their information published. This opt-out will also now extend to the importer information already published.

Who should read this brief

You should read this brief if you are involved in the export of goods to non-EU countries or if you supply services to exporters. If you are an importer of goods from non-EU countries you may also find this brief useful.

Background

In line with the government’s open data initiative and to provide better services to businesses, HMRC is to publish a limited amount of information regarding exporters of goods from the UK to non-EU countries. This is part of HMRC’s commitment to publish more information where this can generate public benefits without compromising the core principle of taxpayer confidentiality.

The law that requires HMRC to publish this information is section 10 of the Small Business Employment and Enterprise Act 2015 and Statutory Instrument No. 2060 The Disclosure of Exporter Information Regulations 2015.

What information will be published?

The information to be released comprises the following information of individual exporters and the goods they export:

  • exporter’s name and address
  • commodity code (for product identification)
  • description of the commodity code covering the goods
  • month and year of export

This information will be available on HMRC’s stand-alone trade statistics website from 8 April 2016 onwards.

This mirrors the importer information that HMRC has been publishing since the 1980s and has proved very popular, generating approximately 60,000 hits per month.

What are the benefits of publishing this information?

The release of this exporter information will:

  • provide greater visibility of UK exporters to new customers in the global market place
  • assist developers to create exporter registers and online shop fronts to advertise and showcase UK exporters and their products
  • enable those who provide export services to more easily identify their customers
  • help overseas importers to locate alternative UK suppliers

What confidentiality safeguards are in place?

HMRC will not publish:

  • national strategic and sensitive information, such as armaments exporters and their products
  • commercially sensitive information, for example where there are a few exporters of a given product where actual levels of trade could be identified or deduced

Details of markets, customers and market share are never made available.

Can I ‘opt-out’ from having my exporter information published, and does this apply to importer information?

If you want your exporter information excluded from publication, for whatever reason and at any time, you should contact HMRC at uktradeinfo@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

You can also choose to apply this opt-out to the importer information HMRC already publishes, from 8 April.

Please note a request to exclude your business from the exporter and importer information sent to us by day 18 of the month will mean removal from the information published the following month. For example, if you send in your request by 18 March HMRC will make sure your information is not published in April.

However this cannot apply retrospectively so HMRC will not be able to remove information on importers or, in future, exporter information already published.


About the Author

© Crown Copyright 2016.

A licence is needed to reproduce this article and has been republished for educational / informational purposes only. Article reproduced by permission of HM Revenue & Customs.



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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2016-02-18 06:30:09 in Tax Articles

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