HMRC’s guidance on this topic explains “what happens if you underpay import or export duties and who is responsible for the debt”.
The guidance has been updated (7 December) in relation to customs debt notifications. The amended guidance on this sub-topic now reads as follows:
“If HMRC believes you’re liable for customs debt, we’ll send you a letter to let you know the decision we intend to make. You have 30 days from the date the letter was issued to reply with any information that might affect this decision — this is known as your ‘right to be heard’.
If you do not reply within 30 days, or the information you’ve given does not change HMRC’s decision, you’ll receive a post clearance demand note (C18) to tell you that the customs debt is now due, along with instructions on how to pay.
If you still disagree with the decision you can submit an appeal.
HMRC have 3 years from the date the customs debt was owed to notify you about it. This is normally the date of the customs entry. The 3-year notification period also applies to the repayment and remission process, and one year for rejected imports. This can be extended to a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 10 years for entries on or before 31 December 2020.
For entries on or after 1 January 2021 the notification period can be extended up to 20 years.”