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Energy Act 2013

Section 98: Powers of HMRC in relation to information; and Section 99: HMRC power to seize articles etc to facilitate ONR and inspectors

456.Section 98 enables the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to provide the ONR or an ONR appointed inspector with information about imports whether or not it has been requested (see section 98(3)). Section 99 allows an officer of HMRC (an HMRC officer) to seize and detain imported goods to facilitate the ONR or its inspectors in the exercise of their functions. Anything that is seized for this purpose may only be detained for a maximum of 2 working days (see section 99(1) and (5)(a)).

457.The Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 provides for functions of HMRC that are “general customs matters” to be exercised concurrently by both HMRC and the Secretary of State. It makes specific provision for references to HMRC in enactments, instruments and documents to be interpreted as references to the Secretary of State (see section 1(6) of that Act), but that provision would not apply to provision made in this Act. In order to ensure that the functions conferred on the HMRC by this section can be exercised by the Secretary of State (as necessary) a consequential amendment has been made to this section of the 2009 Act. This preserves the split in functions put in place by the 2009 Act, section 1.

458.Section 7 of the 2009 Act provides for functions of HMRC that are “customs revenue matters” to be exercised concurrently by both HMRC and the Director of Border Revenue. It makes specific provision for references to HMRC in enactments, instruments and documents to be interpreted as references to the Director of Border Revenue (see section 7(7) of that Act), but that provision would not apply to provision made in this Act. In order to ensure that the functions conferred on the HMRC by this section can be exercised by the Director of Border Revenue (as necessary) the Act makes a consequential amendment to the 2009 Act (see paragraph 101 of Schedule 12). This preserves the split in functions put in place by the 2009 Act, section 7.

459.The 2009 Act also allows for certain functions of HMRC officers to be exercised by designated general customs officials (see section 3 of that Act) and designated customs revenue officials (see section 11 of that Act). In order to ensure that designated general customs officials and designated customs revenue officials can exercise the functions in these sections specific provision is made in sections 3(7)(b) and 11(6)(b) respectively.

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