5. Imports to certain regimes

5.1 Customs Warehousing


This is an EU customs procedure under which non-EU goods may be stored without payment of the Customs Duty and import VAT due.

Type R is a public warehouse authorised for use by warehouse keepers whose main business is the storage of goods deposited by other traders.

Type U is a private warehouse authorised for use by individual traders for the storage of goods. Although the warehouse keeper has to be the same person as the depositor, meaning the person bound by the declaration placing the goods under the warehousing procedure, it is not necessary that they also have to own the goods.

Entry to customs warehousing procedure

Goods imported for customs warehousing must be declared to customs in the normal way using the SAD. However, goods can be entered to customs warehousing by the simplified declaration procedure and Entry in the Declarant’s Records (EIDR) by authorised CFSP traders.

Removal from customs warehousing procedure

a) Removals from customs warehousing for export to non-EU countries must be declared on a form C88. Read about UK Trade Tariff: community and common transit outwards.

b) For removals from customs warehousing to free circulation and other suspensive procedures, declarations can be made on a form C88 for each individual removal or by using EIDR.

Information on valuation for removals from customs warehouse is contained in Notice 252 for Customs Duty and Notice 702 VAT: Imports and warehoused goods for import VAT.

Further information

You can get more information about customs warehousing, including simplified procedures for removals in Notice 3001 or from the Imports and exports: general enquiries helpline.

5.2 Excise Warehousing

Goods liable to Excise Duty and VAT may also be imported for warehousing. Excise warehousing takes place at premises specifically approved for this purpose and, unless the premises are also authorised as a customs warehouse, the goods must be in free circulation before they can enter the warehouse. Goods imported from non-EU countries must be declared in the normal way using a SAD before entering an excise warehouse. Goods acquired from other member states of the EU should be covered by an Administrative Accompanying Document (AAD).

Goods imported for excise warehousing are not subject to any requirement that they should be re-exported.

When goods are subject to both customs and excise warehousing the procedure for putting them into free circulation (normally a declaration on form C88 is separate from the arrangements for entry into home use (which requires payment of the excise duties and VAT) even though the 2 events may be simultaneous.

Similar rules apply to tobacco products imported into registered or entered excise premises except that the products cannot be simultaneously declared for customs warehousing.

More information about the procedures for importation into excise warehouses or into registered or entered excise premises can be found in:

5.3 Temporary Admissions (TA)

Goods to be re-exported without alteration

Relief from customs charges is available for goods which are imported for temporary use in the UK in a wide range of circumstances. The ‘total’ duty reliefs extend to import VAT for goods temporarily imported into the UK. For most goods security will be required for the full amount of duties and import VAT potentially due.

To claim relief an authorisation is required. Application can be made at the time of entry for an authorisation by declaration using the appropriate CPC in the ‘53’ series on a full customs import declaration, this constitutes an application for relief under TA and a formal declaration, that the conditions for the relief claimed are met and will be observed. Prior written application for full authorisation can also be made using form SP5.

If relief has been granted but the goods are subsequently released to home use instead of being re-exported, a diversion entry declaration must be made and any charges paid.

Details of the goods and uses for which relief may be available, the qualifying conditions and the various CPCs are in Notice 3001. The CPCs in the ‘53’ series are listed in the Imports: summary of temporary admission relief customs procedure codes guide in the UK Trade Tariff: customs procedure codes section of the Trade Tariff.

Goods to be re-exported after processing

Goods may be imported for processing (for example, for use in manufacture in the UK) with relief from customs duties or agricultural levies and eventually re-exported to a non-EU country. The procedure (which is governed by Council regulation 950/2013) is known as Inward Processing (IP).

IP duty suspension means duty or levy is not paid at the time of import on goods incorporated in products re-exported but is payable if goods are placed to the home market in the UK. Deferment may be used as a method of payment.

Importers using IPR must be authorised.

Further information about these reliefs can be found in Notice 3001.

5.4 Re-importations

Goods may be reimported into the UK, after processing outside the EU, with total or partial relief from duty if they were originally exported under Outward Processing Relief (OPR) arrangements, and the conditions of that procedure have been met. The rules governing OPR are contained in EEC Council Regulation 950/2013.

For the simplified procedure, official evidence of the original exportation, obtained from customs at the time of export, must be presented with the import declaration. The relief is also available for goods which were originally exported from another member state if documentary evidence issued by customs in that member state is presented with the import declaration.

The relief is confined to that proportion of the imported goods which was originally exported.

More information about OPR can be found in Notice 3001.

For reimported goods which have not been processed outside the EU, Returned Goods Relief (RGR) exists.

Under this procedure, goods exported from the EU may be wholly or partially relieved from import duty (which includes anti-dumping duties and agricultural levies) when they are returned providing this occurs within 3 years of their exportation.

VAT relief is available to registered and unregistered traders reimporting goods in the same state in which they were last exported, subject to the conditions of Notice 702, paragraph 5.4. There are also special arrangements for reimported works of art. More details about these arrangements can be found in Notice 718.

Full details of the conditions for claiming RGR can be found in Notice 236.

6. Special requirements for certain goods

There are a number of situations when additional information to that required for the generality of imports has to be entered on the import declaration. Some of these requirements arise relatively rarely and are described in Notices or other special instructions. In some cases their application is fairly common and these are summarised in this part, which should be read in conjunction with the notes on completion of Box 44, the additional information codes in quantity codes and customs procedure codes.

6.1 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) goods

Agricultural goods imported from non-EU countries may be liable to Customs Duty and under the CAP to:

  • countervailing charges
  • variable charges (specific element of duty)
  • safeguard charges

They may also be subject to CAP licensing requirements.

A list of goods subject to the CAP is contained in Notice 780CHIEF works out all but the most complex CAP charges at the rate applicable at the time of acceptance of the entry.

If CHIEF is unable to calculate the charges, code VCL as appropriate and the amount(s) payable must be entered in Box 47.

Further details of the special provisions that apply to imports of CAP goods, including the application of CAP licensing are in import prohibitions and restrictions and in a series of leaflets and notices published by the Rural Payments Agency.

6.2 Hydrocarbon oil goods

When hydrocarbon oil (including chargeable road fuel additives or substitutes liable to Excise Duty) is imported the description of the hydrocarbon oil in Box 31 of the import declaration must be enough to show whether or not it is liable at a reduced or rebated rate of Excise Duty. For additional information on excise classification, reduced and rebated rates of Excise Duty, and chargeable road fuel additives or substitutes, see UK Trade Tariff: excise duties, reliefs, drawbacks and allowances.

If rebate is claimed on imported hydrocarbon oil, or on the chargeable road fuel additives or substitutes the import declaration at manual locations must include in Box 47:

  • the appropriate ‘rebated rate’ Tax Type code
  • the effective (such as rebated) Excise Duty rate
  • the actual net charge

If the effective rate is NIL this must be shown, and the amount column of Box 47 left blank.

If a conditionally reduced or rebated rate of hydrocarbon oil Excise Duty is being claimed (for example, for unmarked oil imported under a marking waiver), or if hydrocarbon oil goods are being conditionally relieved of Excise Duty (such as ‘tied’ oil), an appropriate coded statement of compliance with the relevant conditions, with any additional plain language information required, must be shown in Box 44 of the import declaration (see UK Trade Tariff: quantity codes).

An additional copy of the declaration (copy 6 of the SAD), must be provided for tied oil importations. The extra copy must be marked ‘TIED OIL’ in red at the top of the form. Information about tied oil imports is given in Notice No.184A.

The quantity in standard litres (See UK Trade Tariff: excise duties, reliefs, drawbacks and allowances or Notice 179) must be shown in Box 41 (Supplementary Units).

6.3 Animals, plants and fur skins

When animals (other than common, domestic or farm animals), reptiles, birds, plants, fur skins and articles containing fur skin and plumage are imported and these are not covered by a permit or certificate issued under the EU CITES Regulations, the import declaration must include a coded statement in Box 44 (see quantity codes) indicating the species being imported or from which the imported goods are derived and stating that they are not subject to restriction under that Act, or those regulations, if that is the case.

Box 44 should also be used to state the presence of:

  • ivory or tortoise-shell incorporated in goods which are not classified in commodity codes 050710, 050790, 960110 or 960190

6.4 Containers and pallets

When containers or pallets are imported with other goods a coded statement must be entered in Box 44. A full list of these codes (additional information codes) can be found in quantity codes. For temporarily imported containers or pallets see Notice 3001.

6.5 Supplementary statistical requirements

Supplementary statistics are compiled about chemicals of a value exceeding £1,000 and falling within Chapters 28 and 29 of the UK Trade Tariff. For this purpose the precise chemical name and the 5-digit reference Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number shown in the EU Commission’s publication ‘European Customs Inventory of Chemicals’ must be declared in the Packages and Description of Goods box (Box 31) on the entry, or, if the chemical is not listed, the precise name in accordance with British Standard 2474/1983 and the words ‘not listed’ must be declared in the Packages and Descriptions of Goods area (Box 31) on the SAD.

6.6 Beer

The Excise Duty on beer imported is assessed on the percentage of alcohol by volume.

The total net weight should be shown in box 38 and the number of litres of beer in Box 41.

The percentage of alcohol by volume is to be declared in the additional information Box 44 using code ‘3Q=’ followed by the percentage figure.

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