Memorandum of Understanding with HM Revenue and Customs (FOI)
Memorandum of Understanding with HM Revenue and Customs (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 01 March 2018.
I would like a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service, Jersey Post and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that forms the basis of the Import VAT Accounting Scheme (IVAS) enabling Import VAT to be prepaid on mail order goods. I am happy for this to be redacted for commercially confidential information as I am only interested in the legal basis upon which the scheme is based.
Her Majesties Revenue & Customs (HMRC) established the Import VAT Accounting Scheme (the Scheme) to allow local traders to pre-pay VAT on mail order goods exported to the UK. Being party to the Scheme removes friction at the UK border allowing the goods to be delivered straight to the customer without incurring any further charges. The introduction of the Scheme was in response to the decision by the UK Government to remove the Low Value Consignment Relief (LCVR) for goods originating in the Channel Islands.
Participation in the Scheme is voluntary and those traders who are accepted agree to abide by a set of Terms and Conditions determined by HMRC. The Scheme does not have a legal basis instead it is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which supports its management and operation. The signatories to the MOU are HMRC, Jersey Customs and Immigration Service (JCIS) and Jersey Post, with the parties each agreeing to a defined set of obligations.
The MOU is owned by HMRC and references Jersey Post which is not subject to the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011. The document also contains a confidentiality clause which prevents onward dissemination. Given the circumstances outlined above the States of Jersey is unable to release a copy of the MOU into the public domain.
On the basis that the document contains confidentiality clauses:
Article 26 Information supplied in confidence
Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a) it was obtained by the scheduled public authority from another person (including another public authority); and
(b) the disclosure of the information to the public by the scheduled public authority holding it would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by that or any other person.
On the basis that release of the information could damage the relationship between Jersey and UK:
Article 41 International relations
(1) Information is qualified exempt information if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice relations between Jersey and –
(a) the United Kingdom;