Welcome to AM Skinner Solicitors

Andrew Skinner is a specialist trade lawyer, advising clients on cross-border trade, in particular export controls, economic sanctions and customs controls.

Andrew has in-depth knowledge and experience of dealing with a wide variety of international trade and compliance problems, and always aims to give clients a pragmatic solution, which results in the best outcome for them.



Andrew’s practice covers issues which are both contentious and non-contentious, including:


  • Compliance programmes,

  • Export licensing,

  • Internal investigations,

  • Voluntary disclosures,

  • Enforcement matters,

  • Brexit.


Compliance programmes

A compliance programme is a set of internal policies and procedures of an organisation which helps to ensure that the organisation and those representing the organisation are compliant with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.


Andrew Skinner advises organisations on the implementation and maintenance of their trade compliance programmes, including initial risk assessment, drafting of policies and procedures, operational controls, training and audit.


Export licensing

An export licence may be required due to the nature of the goods, destination of export, ultimate end use of the goods and where controlled trade activities are involved. Exporters should also consider the extraterritorial export controls and sanctions of the United States in addition to those of their own country.


Andrew Skinner advises clients on export licensing requirements of the UK, EU and US, including the US Export Administration Regulations (EAR), as well as the submission of export licence applications, conditions of licence use and applicable record keeping obligations.


Internal investigations

Today's increasingly complex regulatory environment means that organisations must know how to respond properly to allegations of wrongdoing in the workplace by conducting effective internal investigations in response to employee complaints or government investigations.


Andrew Skinner helps clients conduct effective internal investigations, thereby providing enough information to enable them to assess the potential exposure of their organisation and make strategic decisions to mitigate any damages. The organisation may also be able to stop any improper conduct from continuing, and it may have a solid basis for taking disciplinary action against those responsible for the wrongdoing.


Voluntary disclosures

Organisations may discover that they have exported goods or transferred controlled technology without an appropriate export licence in place. If this happens, then the organisation may wish to inform HMRC by making a ‘voluntary self-disclosure’.


Andrew Skinner advises clients on the making of voluntary self-disclosures, including the preparation and submission of all documents in order to help mitigate the impact of any regulatory penalties.


Regulatory enforcement


HMRC and the Crown Prosecution Service are responsible for investigating and prosecuting breaches of export control law in the UK. Failing to comply with export control law is a strict liability criminal offence, so even unintentional breaches may result in criminal action, and where the offence is intentional, then the offender(s) can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Alternatively, HMRC may choose to offer a compound penalty. Compound penalties are used for unintentional less serious cases and they allow the person to settle a case through a penalty payment, thereby avoiding court action and potential criminal prosecution.


Andrew Skinner advises clients that have got themselves into compliance difficulties with the regulatory authorities, or where there is a potential breach of contract with suppliers or customers as a result of non-compliance with export controls or customs laws and regulations.



The UK left the EU on 31st December 2020. From 1 January 2021, customs declarations will be required when importing goods from the EU. These rules previously applied when importing goods from the rest of the world. Exporters of dual-use controlled goods, technology and software will also be required to obtain an export licence when exporting to any EU country. 

Also, there are now rules of origin requirements under the UK’s deal with the EU (the Trade and Cooperation Agreement) which businesses need to comply with in order to ensure that they pay zero tariffs when trading with the EU. This applies to both businesses that wish to export goods to the EU at zero tariffs, as well as businesses who wish to import goods from EU at zero tariffs. These rules are complex with potential regulatory penalties for none compliance.


Andrew Skinner advises clients on all customs matters, including;

  • Export licensing

  • Customs clearance procedures

  • Preferential trade arrangements

  • Valuation of goods

  • Duty deferment

  • Importer of record

  • Commercial agreements

  • Incoterms®

  • Customs procedure codes

  • Anti-dumping

  • WTO

Contact Andrew Skinner on 01423 734019 or send a message using the form below.

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Providing expert legal advice in areas of international trade law