What is advocacy?

Advocacy is when we represent you to HMRC. This is not to be confused with a freight forwarder, customs broker or customs agent who represents you in the declaration of goods to HMRC. We mean representing you to HMRC when you have a dispute, ruling or demand which you do not agree with.

All customs decisions, ruling and demands may be appealed provided you contact us in time for us to take actions within the time limits set down in customs rules.

As with legal procedures in other fields, the grounds of the dispute must be based on one or more of the following:

1. The customs law has not been applied correctly

2. The facts of the matter have not been fully set out or understood or additional information has now come to light

We can also get involved before decisions are issued if you contact us at an early stage. Often it can be easier to negotiate with HMRC before they issue decisions. We can either take up representation for dealing with the matter directly with HMRC or you can retain responsibility but we will act as your adviser at each stage. When necessary we can call upon leading counsel where the additional expertise of a custom barrister would be beneficial.

Advocacy to us means working alongside you whilst representing your interests.

If you have a dispute, ruling or demand we will:
  1. Listen to your concerns about the disputed matter.

  2. Make a summary based on your explanation of the facts

  3. Review the documents relevant to the matter

  4. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case

  5. Recommend a course of action

  6. Take instructions from you if you decide to proceed with our recommendation– or another course of action.

  7. Carry out the agreed advice/work option on your behalf.

Areas of dispute could include:

Tariff classification of goods

Applications to use duty reliefs

Record keeping

Customs valuation of goods

Results of HMRC audit

Documenting evidence to support import/export declaration details

Origin of goods

Import/export declaration compliance

HMRC maladministration

You have come to the right place if you

Manage customs & trade


Import or export goods


Pay customs duties


Manage a supply chain

You gain benefits for your business if you

Reduce import duties


Resolve difficulties with UK customs


Manage risk


Achieve process efficiencies

Case Study

Packaging Factory
How a UK manufacturer cut their customs duty bill using Inward Processing (IP)

The company approached Quadrel for a review of their customs duties, which is when we recommended the use of Inward Processing (IP) to reduce the duty cost to the business.

Take our free diagnostic tool

Find out if your business could have customs risks that need to be addressed or explored.