Under directly applicable EU legislation certain goods benefit from a temporary suspension or reduction of customs duty. This guide explains the background, scope and coverage of these temporary suspensions.
Temporary tariff suspensions are designed to allow manufacturing industries within the EU to compete on equal terms with non-EU producers of finished products. This is achieved by permitting the complete or partial suspension of import duties on components or raw materials for further processing which are not available – or not in sufficient quantity – within the EU.
In the absence of the availability within the EU of competing equipment, duty suspension may be provided for in the case of manufacturing equipment.
Duty suspensions can also be granted for parts which on importation do not require major modification and could be classed as finished products provided the added value of the assembly operation is sufficiently high.
1.3 Other duties or taxes
It should be borne in mind that goods to which temporary suspensions apply remain chargeable with other EU duties (for example, Anti-Dumping Duty) or with UK taxes (such as VAT).
1.4 Role of the EU
The decision on whether a particular product is granted suspension or whether a suspension measure should continue is taken by the member states of the EU on the basis of a proposal from the EU. In preparing its proposal for a regulation the EU, in co-operation with member states, will take account of the economic criteria applying to each individual request or renewal.
1.5 Responsibility in the UK
Requests for information on duty suspension should be made to the Department for International Trade (DIT), except in the case of fishery products which should be addressed to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
DIT deals with enquiries other than classification issues concerning this regime. Classification questions should be put to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Importers seeking the introduction of duty suspensions should contact DIT.
Similarly, if any UK traders already produce or will be producing in the near future competing goods for which a temporary suspension has been granted or is the subject of a new request, they should make representations to DIT.
For fisheries suspensions only, contact:
Mr Simon Doggett
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Fishing Industry Management Division
3-8 Whitehall Place
Telephone: 020 7270 8120
Fax: 020 7270 8148
The EU publishes details of new requests for duty suspensions submitted by member states.
1.7 Time limits
Requests for existing measures to be withdrawn or amended from 1 January or 1 July each year need to be submitted by 15 March or 15 September respectively as it takes approximately 9 months for these requests to be dealt with.
Changes to the status of duty suspensions and new duty suspensions coming into force on either 1 January or 1 June are published in the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJEC). Copies of these publications can be bought from The Stationery Office (TSO).
Traders may find it helpful to obtain these documents for reference purposes and to aid customs clearance.
1.8 Categories of suspensions
There are 3 main categories of suspension and these are described below.
In addition you can find information for goods imported from Turkey and the special conditions which apply to some suspensions.
2. General temporary suspensions
These customs measures cover:
- goods in the chemicals and related sectors
- the microelectronics and related sectors
- certain fisheries products
- some agricultural products which are used by the food processing industry
The goods which benefit from a temporary suspension are specifically identified against this description in the UK Trade Tariff by the symbol ‘S’ together with the reduced rate of duty. Where necessary, further details are included either as a footnote or in the additional information at the end of the particular tariff chapter concerned.
3. Goods imported for use in particular aircraft
This category covers certain goods imported for use in 2 ways:
- for use in the construction, maintenance and repair of aircraft of an unladen weight exceeding 2,000kg – helicopters of an unladen weight exceeding 15,000kg may not benefit from these suspensions
- for use in the construction, maintenance and repair of aircraft built within the EU or for use in aircraft imported duty-free
Traders should also be aware of the special concessions available under Inward Processing (IP), which are available for the import of parts and components for civil aircraft. IP may be available for a wider range of items than duty suspension.
For more information contact the Imports: general enquiries helpline.
3.2 Identification within the UK Trade Tariff
The goods which benefit from this category of temporary suspension are identified in the UK Trade Tariff by a reference in column 1 and footnotes.
The end-use tariff heading 8803 is not to be used for goods excluded by notes 2 and 3 to section 17 of the tariff.
In general, the heading only applies to:
- airframe parts
- undercarriages and undercarriage parts
- propellers and transmissions
- rotors of helicopters
However, goods not proper to 8803 may be eligible for a suspension under their correct subheading.
3.3 Other reliefs from duty
Goods indicated for use in the construction, repair or maintenance of aircraft – but not eligible for suspension of duty under this section – may be eligible for suspension under general temporary suspensions or may be entitled to a preferential rate of duty (see trade arrangements for countries outside the EU).
4. Goods for certain categories of ships, boats and other vessels (shipwork goods) – including goods for drilling or production platforms
Customs duties are suspended for goods which are for construction, repair, maintenance or conversion, and are intended to be incorporated in ships, boats or other vessels listed in the tariff subheadings below.
89.01 – cruise ships, excursion boats, ferry boats, cargo ships, barges and similar vessels for the transport of persons or goods
|890110 10||Cruise ships, excursion boats and similar vessels principally designed for the transport of persons, ferry boats of all kinds
|890120 10||Sea-going: refrigerated vessels, other than those of subheading 890120|
|890130 10||Sea-going: other vessels for the transport of goods and other vessels for the transport of both persons and goods|
89.02 – fishing vessels, factory ships and other vessels for processing or preserving fishery products
|890200 12||Sea-going: of a gross tonnage exceeding 250 tons Gross Register Tonnage (GRT)|
|890200 18||Sea-going: of a gross tonnage not exceeding 250 tons GRT|
89.03 – yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports, rowing boats and canoes
|890391 10||Other: sailing boats, with or without auxiliary motor
Sea-going: motorboats, other than outboard motorboats
89.04 – tugs and pusher craft
|890400 10||Pusher craft: tugs|
89.05 – light-vessels, fire floats, dredgers, floating cranes, and other vessels the navigability of which is subsidiary to their main function, floating docks, floating or submersible drilling or production platforms
|890510 10||Dredgers: sea-going|
|890590 10||Other: sea-going|
89.06 – other vessels, including warships and lifeboats other than rowing boats
|890610 00||Warships, other|
4.2 Coverage (drilling or production platforms)
Customs duties are suspended on goods intended for incorporation in fixed drilling or production platforms (within subheading 843049) operating offshore and for incorporation in floating or submersible drilling or production platforms (of subheading 890520) for the purposes of their construction, repair, maintenance, conversion or equipping.
Goods such as motor fuel, lubricants and gas (necessary for the operation of machines and apparatus which do not affect permanently, and are not integral parts of the platforms and are used on board for their construction, repair, maintenance, conversion or equipping), may be regarded as being imported for incorporation in drilling and production platforms and may also benefit from the customs duty suspension.
Customs duties are suspended for tubes, pipes, cables and their connection pieces linking these drilling or production platforms to the mainland.
Contact your supervising office if you have any enquiries about the application of this suspension. The Imports: general enquiries helpline can tell you what your supervising office is if you do not know.
5. Reduced rates and tariff quotas
5.1 Goods from Turkey
5.2 Other reduced rates
In addition to the above arrangements, reduced or ‘nil’ rates of duty may also apply to certain goods under the arrangements mentioned in trade arrangements for countries outside the EU and tariff quotas and ceilings.
5.3 When more than one tariff concession applies
Importers will wish to ensure that their goods are entered at the most advantageous rate.
Where goods are potentially eligible for both suspension of customs duty and preference at equally beneficial rates, importers should be alert to the possibility that a claim to suspension may be easier to substantiate than eligibility to preference, since the former generally requires no supporting documentation.
Similarly, eligibility to suspension of customs duty may be easier to substantiate than relief from duty under a tariff quota.
6. End-use relief (control by HMRC)
6.1 End-use relief
End-use relief is designed to assist particular industries and trades within the EU by provision of a favourable rate of customs duty and/or levy on certain goods imported from non-EU countries, provided those goods are put to a prescribed use.
6.2 End-use control
In order to satisfy a claim to that suspension from duty, goods in these circumstances are subject to control by HMRC, after importation or release from customs warehouse, to confirm that the goods are put to the use declared at the time of importation.
6.3 Further information
You can read more detailed information about end-use relief and goods for a prescribed use.
Contact your supervising office if you have any queries. The Imports: general enquiries helpline can tell you what your supervising office is if you do not know.
7. Aircraft parts imported with an Authorised Release Certificate
Council Regulation No (EU) 2018/581 suspended customs duties on parts, components and other goods of a kind incorporated in or used for aircrafts, provided an Authorised Release Certificate (previously referred to as airworthiness certificate) was issued by a party authorised by the European Aviation Safety Agency or aviation authorities of a third country falling within chapters 25 to 97 of the tariff.
There’s no requirement to use either end-use relief or a suspensory relief, for example, IP. The scheme does not cover semi-manufactured parts, parts imported with a certificate of conformity or raw materials.
7.1 Eligible parts
Parts, components and other goods, falling within chapters 25 to 97 of the tariff, of a kind to be incorporated in or used in the manufacture, repair, maintenance, rebuilding, modification or conversion of aircraft for which an Authorised Release Certificate has been issued by a party authorised by aviation authorities of a third country.
7.2 Eligible certificates
Authorised Release Certificates (EASA1) issued by a party authorised by the European Aviation Safety Agency or by equivalent certificates issued by aviation authorities of a third country will be valid to enter goods under this procedure.
7.3 Presenting the Authorised Release Certificate
The certificate should be submitted in electronic form and at the disposal of Customs when you declare the goods for release to free circulation.
You should keep the certificate with your records and make it available to our officers, if requested, at audit.
7.4 Import of parts under the certificates of airworthiness procedure
You should complete the C88 (SAD) with the following information:
|31||Description of the goods|
|36||Enter the appropriate 3 digit code ending in 19 ‘tariff suspension subject to airworthiness certificates’|
|37||CPC 40 ** 001 (if the commodity code is subject to end-use control) or 40 ** 002 (if the commodity code is not subject to end-use relief)|
|44||Enter document code identifier A119
Document status AE or GE
Declare ‘import with airworthiness certificate’ as an A10100 AI Statement
For CPC 40 ** 001 ONLY
Enter ‘AWC’ as the SPOFF A1 statement in all fields apart from the country code which should be entered as GB
Document code N990
Authorisation number EU 9999/999/99
7.5 Imports of mixed consignments
If you import mixed consignments of goods, some of which may be entered to the Certificate of Airworthiness scheme and others to different customs procedures or free circulation, you must complete a separate declaration for each procedure.
More details are in the imports and community transport inwards guidance.
7.6 Amending an entry
Goods entered to free circulation in error
If goods are entered in error to free circulation instead of under the certificate of airworthiness scheme, you may be allowed to amend the entry providing:
- you apply for the entry to be amended as soon as you become aware of the error
- a certificate of airworthiness was available and you were eligible to use the scheme when the goods were entered
- the goods will immediately be entered to duty suspension under the scheme
The entry number of the original entry should be written in Box 40 of the substitute entry to provide an audit trail. Include any supporting documentation you have to show evidence of why the amendment is required, for example a copy of the airworthiness certificate relevant to the goods must be included.
These documents must be sent to the Customs Input Entry (CIE) Seat:
The CIE Seat
National Clearance Hub
The original entry will be invalidated and the substitute entry will be given a new entry number. This new C88 entry is the document which provides you with evidence of your entitlement to relief on these goods.
For any enquiries email: email@example.com.
Where there is no change to the customs procedure or any other change to an entry which does not result in any monetary impact, this is a non-revenue amendment.
You must apply for the entry to be amended as soon as you become aware of the error. If you wish to make a non-revenue amendment you should send the original C88 entry together with a substitute C88 entry completed with the amendments required.
The entry number of the original entry should be written in Box 40 of the substitute entry to provide an audit trail.
Include any supporting documentation you have to show evidence of why the amendment is required and send it to:
The Post Clearance Amendments Team
The substitute entry will be given a new entry number. This new stamped C88 entry will be sent to you and provides you with evidence of your amendment.