Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 18

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 18

14 Apr 2020

Duty deferment account holders
Duty deferment account holders who are experiencing severe financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19 and who are unable to make payment of deferred customs duties and import VAT due on 15 April 2020 can contact HMRC for approval to enter into an extended period to make full or partial payment, without having their guarantee called upon or their deferment account suspended.

The account holder should contact the Duty Deferment Office 03000 594243 or by email or the COVID-19 helpline on 0800 024 1222. Account holders will be asked to provide an explanation of how Covid-19 has impacted their business finances and cash flow.

Duty Deferment account holders will be able to use their accounts during the extended payment period agreed unless they default on a subsequent payment in that period, in which case HMRC may consider suspending their account. The outstanding payment will not affect their duty deferment limit so they will not need to increase their guarantee to cover the outstanding payment. Where HMRC agrees to an extended payment period, interest will not be charged on the outstanding payments provided they are paid in full by the agreed date.

Duty/import VAT payments not covered by a duty deferment account
Registered Importers who pay cash or an equivalent and are facing severe financial difficulties as a direct result of Covid-19 can contact HMRC to request an extension to the payment deadline at the time the payment is due. They will be asked to provide an explanation of how Covid-19 has impacted on their business finances. HMRC will consider this request and decide whether or not to agree an additional time to pay. The decision will be taken on a case-by-case basis and could be refused.

If the request is approved the conditions, including the length of time offered, will depend upon the importer’s individual circumstances and may require the holding of a guarantee for the period of the time extension. HMRC cannot offer this facility to non-registered importers. For further information, please contact the Customs Debt Policy inbox (

Emergency grants to support redistributing surplus food – request for feedback from WRAP
Defra/WRAP announced emergency grants to support food surplus redistribution charities in overcoming challenges in obtaining surplus food from food businesses and distributing to people in need.

New funding comes under the Resource Action Fund managed by WRAP on behalf of Defra, and will be allocated in three phases: Phase 1 support launched on Friday 3 April, and Phases 2 and 3 launched on Thursday 9 April.

WRAP is keen to have any insight regarding barriers and potential opportunities for a business to make surplus food available for redistribution to feed people. This will help direct funding where it is needed most and unlock the opportunity to redistribute surplus to those in need. If you have the time, reply on the following questions to:

1.Surplus Food Status: None/ Some/ Significant

2. Support required to facilitate surplus food redistribution: None required/ Given or sold to employees/Donated to redistribution organisations/ Donated to local charity locally/Support required to help donate food

3. The type of surplus food you have available for redistribution: None/Fresh/ Chilled/ Frozen/ Ambient

4. The quantity/tonnage of surplus food available: None/Use by date etc…

5.The location of any food surplus you may have: Depot/ Outlet

6. The barriers for your business to donate surplus food: date labelling/re-packaging/short life branding considerations/ logistics/other

7. The potential opportunities for your business to donate surplus with some sort of support: logistical support/financial support/other type of support.

If you have any issues and queries please contact us.

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