24th MEETING OF CUSTOMS CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE by RodneySooialo

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									             24th MEETING OF CUSTOMS CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
                              17th November 2004

Present: -

Mr Eamonn Fitzpatrick (Chair)        Customs Division
Mr Donal O’Driscoll                  Customs Strategy & Procedures Branch
Mr Padraig Ó Ruanaí                  BMW Region
Mr Sean Ó Séaghdha                   Customs Legislation & Consolidation Branch
Mr Enda Mulvihill                    Dublin Region
Mr Joe Ryan                          Customs Division Nenagh
Mr Gearóid Murphy                    Customs Strategy & Procedures Branch
Mr Paul Brannigan                    Secretary

Representatives of Trade: -

Ms Martina Diegmann                  Chambers of Commerce of Ireland
Ms Debbie Quinn                      Forfás
Mr Michael D’Arcy                    Irish Association of International Express
                                     Carriers (IAIEC)
Mr Ray Foy                           Irish Business & Employers Confederation
Mr Stephen Treacy                    Irish Business & Employers Confederation
Mr Chris O’Shea                      Irish Exporters Association (IEA)
Mr Brendan Farrell                   Irish Exporters Association (IEA)
Mr Pakenham Pim                      Irish International Freight Association (IIFA)


Agenda Item 1: Adoption of the agenda

Agenda adopted.

Agenda Item 2: Approval of the draft minutes of the 23rd meeting

Mr Mulvihill requested that the minutes be amended to reflect the more general
nature of customer service issues discussed during the 23rd meeting. This was
agreed. Subject to the above amendment the minutes were approved.


Agenda Item 3: Customer Service and Matters arising

Mr O’Driscoll reported that action points arising out of the last meeting had been
carried out.

Discussions on improved customer service took place. Mr Mulvihill requested
members to contact the local manager should any problems relating to customs
issues arise. If members have a difficulty contacting local managers or if not getting
satisfaction they could contact him directly and he would deal with the issue. He
provided the members with the names of the local managers.

Initiatives have been taken to provide information leaflets with relevant local contact
details and making them available at public counters. Mr Mulvihill undertook to give
the updated list to the members. Mr Farrell asked if e-mail addresses could also be
included on the list and this was agreed.




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Mr Mulvihill also announced that Customs in Dublin Airport were adopting a more
refined risk assessment approach to consignments handled by the express carriers.
This initiative was being piloted and it was expected to extend it over time to other
areas. Mr Foy questioned the likely impact this would have on trade and whether it
would lead to delays. Mr Mulvihill replied that the new approach would involve
unannounced visits by customs officials. He assured the members that this
approach was unlikely to result in a delay to the normal processing of goods. It was
an additional assurance that Revenue were seeking that those involved in Simplified
Procedures were adhering to the conditions attaching to these procedures.
However, where persistent breaches of the procedures occurred the trader’s
approval to operate them will be re-examined.

Mr Farrell stated that in some circumstances exporters, because of inherent delays
involving the mandatory examination of goods, will not claim CAP export refunds.
The Chair expressed concern that Customs rules could be so rigid as to frustrate a
refund claim. Mr Ó Ruanaí suggested CAP traders should consult with their local
Control Officers to consign and have examinations carried out at their own premises.


Agenda Item 4: Revenue’s Statement of Strategy 2005-2007

The Chair announced that, in accordance with the Public Service Management Act,
Revenue had to draft a new Statement of Strategy. On behalf of the Board, the Chair
invited the CCC members to make submissions, which will be taken into
consideration when preparing the Strategy. In response to a question from Mr
O’Shea, the Chair stated that the time frame was very tight and the process had to
be signed off by mid December 2004. Mr Farrell suggested the 30th November as
the date the trade would respond and this was agreed.


Agenda Item 5: Customs legislation Consolidation Project

The Chair, introducing this item, said that the last statutory consolidation of Customs
law dated back almost 130 years and that a project was now underway to produce a
fresh consolidation of the legal changes since then. It was hoped that the opportunity
could also be taken to modernise the legislation as part of the project.

Mr Ó Séaghdha said that the consolidation project dealt with the national primary and
secondary Customs and Customs-related legislation. It was intended to make the
legislation more accessible, transparent and user-friendly and to repeal those
provisions, which were considered to be outdated. A considerable amount of legal
research and analysis had now been undertaken and the aim was to have a first
working draft of a non-statutory consolidation prepared by the year-end. This first
draft would, however, then need to be examined and reworked to produce a more
definitive version during 2005. This would require input from a number of areas
within Revenue and, ideally, would also benefit from outside review, such as from the
members of the CCC.

Also in 2005 it was hoped to move on to a second phase of the project, involving
perhaps an examination of the draft non-statutory consolidation by interested parties
looking at both legal/technical and policy issues thrown up by the draft. Whatever
issues and solutions might emerge from such a review would then require
Department of Finance approval before any amending legislation could be prepared
and enacted.




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Mr. Ó Séaghdha asked the members if they saw a role for themselves in either of
these processes, namely, the review of the draft non-statutory consolidation and the
consideration of issues thrown up by the draft. Mr D’Arcy said that the Irish
Association of International Express Carriers would be interested and he asked if he
could have sight of the preliminary draft when available. Mr Foy said that industry
had to work with EU legislation and he wondered what was the relationship between
the consolidation project and EU legislation. Mr Ó Séaghdha repeated that the
project was focussed on modernising the national legislation and, as such, would not
review the EU legislation. Nevertheless, the primacy of EU Customs legislation in
more recent years meant that many elements of the national legislation were, in
effect, now superseded and redundant. Other elements of the national legislation still
survived, e.g. enforcement powers. The Chair added that Customs had increasingly
to be mindful of other issues, such as security and ports-related matters.

Mr Ó Séaghdha concluded that, in addition to any input that the members
themselves might make to the review process, there could be experts in national
Customs or Customs-related law working in the private sector. He asked, if the
members knew of any such experts who might be interested in making their views
known on this topic, he would be only too happy to know of them and to make
contact with them. The members agreed to get back to him with any such contacts
to be followed-up.


Agenda Item 6: Procedure for the exportation of Dual Use Goods

Mr Ryan in his presentation said that Regulation 1334/2000 as amended, provides
for a system of export controls for dual use items (goods which can be used for both
civilian and military purposes), including a requirement that such exports should only
take place under cover of a licence or authorisation. Such licences are issued by
DETE.

Items, which may be subject to dual use controls, are identified in column 6 of the
Customs and Excise Tariff of Ireland and in the AEP system by use of notation
DU(CD095). Dual use items that are not highly sensitive may be exported to an
exempted country under a Community General Export Authorisation. A facility exists
for authorised traders to endorse licences. In such cases the code L51 and the
licence number should be quoted in Box 44 of the SAD when making an electronic
declaration. Revenue must be notified in writing or by e-mail not less than 24 hours
in advance of the exportation and items may be examined by customs.

Not all items that carry notation DU(CD095) require a licence or authorisation on export
and in such cases the exporter should enter the code F51 in Box 44 of the SAD. In
conclusion Mr Ryan mentioned that Dual use items presented without a licence
maybe detained and in response to a query from Mr D’Arcy he outlined the penalties
for breaches of the regulations. Mr Foy thanked Mr Ryan for his presentation but
queried the 24-hour rule and the requirement to e-mail customs in advance. Mr Ryan
said he would consider this matter further and revert back to Mr Foy.


Agenda Item 7: Electronic Customs

(A)    AEP Redevelopment

Mr O’Driscoll provided an update. The Request to Tender (RFT) was published on
the 12th August last with a closing date of 4th October. Revenue was now in the



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process of evaluating those tenders. Three Trade Contact Group meetings have
been held to date prior to publication of the RFT and three more are planned for
2005. In addition consultation within Revenue had also taken place and briefings
were made to Revenue’s IT Executive. The Chair said the new AEP system should
be more sophisticated than the current system, but that it was going to be costly and
the Department of Finance was looking critically at the figures. In response to a
question from Mr D’Arcy the Chair stated that it would not be necessary for the Trade
Bodies to make representations to Finance.

(B)      CAP DTI Project

Mr. Ó Ruanaí provided the members with an update announcing that the CAP Trader
Guide (Revision 1) and supplement will be available on the Revenue website by the
end of the month. Live end-to-end testing is going ahead in week commencing 6th
December.

ROS liaison officers and CAP Control officers have been calling to traders explaining
and promoting the new system.

Revenue has invested a lot of resources against competing in-house priorities and he
exhorted the trade to take up the CAP DTI option. By mid 2005, it is expected that
80% plus of all CAP export declarations will be made using CAP DTI. Mr Farrell
commended Mr. Ó Ruanaí and his team and confirmed the December date. Mr
Tracey also complimented Revenue and in particular Margaret Whelan’s team in
ROS.

AOB

     The Chair said that he had been asked by Commissioner Feehily to mention the
      Excise Movement Computerised System (EMCS), which is a new project that
      may have links to NCTS. She has asked his Division to participate in the
      progress and development of this new project.

     Mr Tracey referred to new NCTS messages in the New Year and asked for
      information on new message requirements. Mr O’Driscoll said he hoped to have
      the information in early January and as soon as he had he would let him know.

     After a request from Mr O’Driscoll it was agreed to place the minutes of CCC
      meetings on Revenue’s website. It was stressed that the minutes would only be
      placed on the website when they had been agreed by the members.

     Mr D’Arcy requested that draft minutes be circulated more rapidly and official side
      agreed this.

     The Chair raised the issue of port security and the movement and scanning of
      containers. He noted that it was a very topical issue and suggested that it should
      be on the agenda for the next meeting. This was agreed.


The Chair then brought the meeting to a close. He thanked the members for
attending and for their valuable contributions and he thanked also the Revenue side
for their presentations. He looked forward to seeing everyone in the New Year.

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