Pay less or no duty on goods you store, repair, process or temporarily use

Find out about customs special procedures and outward processing that allow you to suspend, pay less or pay no duty on goods you import or export.

Customs special procedures allow you to store, temporarily use, process or repair your goods and get partial or full relief from import duty, or in some cases suspension.

What processing means

Processing can be anything from simply sorting or repacking goods up to the most complicated manufacturing. 

What repair means

Repair is when goods are restored to their original working condition, but do not improve their performance. If you want to claim relief on goods for repair, you need to expect the goods to be repairable. This means they cannot be things like minerals and chemicals. You can import or export goods for repair.

You can import temporary replacements for goods you’re exporting for repair by using the standard exchange system.

Inward processing

Use inward processing to delay or reduce import duties or VAT on goods that you process or repair.

Authorised use

Check if you can apply for Authorised Use relief to reduce your payments when you import goods for a specific use. This can include maintenance and processing.

Customs Warehouse

You can use custom warehousing to delay duty and VAT. You will only pay when your goods leave the warehouse and go into free circulation.

Temporary admission

How to apply for Temporary Admission to import goods into the UK and use them for up to 2 years or more, before re-exporting them.

Outward Processing

When you export goods outside the UK for processing or repair and then re-import them, you can use Outward Processing to reduce your duty payments.

Airworthiness scheme

Check if you can use the airworthiness scheme to suspend duty for aircraft parts, components and other goods.

Updates to this page

Published 1 August 2018
Last updated 23 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Guidance around processing has been updated.

  2. This page has been updated because the Brexit transition period has ended.

  3. First published.