Guidance

Apply to import goods temporarily to the UK

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

Goods placed under Temporary Admission are not intended to undergo any change, except normal depreciation caused by the use they were made for.

Who can apply

You can apply if you’re the person using the goods or you’re arranging for the goods to be used on your behalf.

Using Temporary Admission in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) will depend on whether you’re established inside or outside the UK.

Using Temporary Admission in Northern Ireland will depend on whether you’re established inside or outside the customs territory of the EU.

You must also:

  • be financially solvent
  • have a good history of compliance with customs requirements
  • have (or be able to keep) appropriate records

You cannot apply if you’re a:

  • freight forwarder
  • fast parcel operator
  • customs agent

See the list of goods, uses and conditions.

Before you apply

Before you start the application process, you’ll need to have the following information to hand:

  • your Economic Operator Registration Indicator (EORI) number (unless importing non-commercial goods)
  • details of where your records are or will be held
  • how the goods will be received – for example imported as freight or post
  • where the goods will be declared to Temporary Admission
  • whether you’ll be using simplified declarations or not
  • details of your guarantee (if applicable)
  • where your goods will be used
  • how long the goods will be in UK

How to apply

There are 6 types of authorisation you can get to use Temporary Admission:

  • full
  • by declaration
  • an authorisation that covers the Northern Ireland and the EU
  • retrospective
  • oral declaration
  • crossing the border ‘by any other act’

Full authorisation

To apply online for a full authorisation, you’ll need to have a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you apply.

Apply online for full authorisation.

If you cannot do this online, you can use the print and post form.

You should apply at least one month before you start importing as we need this time to process your application. If we need longer, we’ll contact you with a new date.

If you’re applying for authorisation in Northern Ireland and Great Britain, you need to fill the form out separately for each.

Authorisation by declaration

Authorisation by declaration is when we authorise you by accepting your import declaration at the border.

You cannot use this if:

Authorisations covering Northern Ireland and the EU

Authorisations covering Northern Ireland and the EU give you cover for all your activities across Northern Ireland and the EU these countries. For example, if goods are being exhibited in Belfast, Paris and then Vienna.

There are 2 options of either:

  • using the authorisation by declaration method – the declaration must be made to the place where the goods are to be used first
  • completing a full authorisation – the application must be made to the place where the goods are to be first used

If your application is going to be made to HMRC, you should email: admin.uum.cdms@hmrc.gov.uk with your:

  • name
  • contact email address
  • address of your Northern Ireland operation
  • Economic Operator Registration and Identification number (XI Prefix)

We’ll reply within 5 days and provide a link to the EU Trader Portal where you can access the application form.

Retrospective authorisation

In special situations, you can apply for authorisation after you’ve imported your goods. This is called a retrospective authorisation.

We will only authorise you if you’ve not been given a retrospective authorisation in the last 3 years.

You’ll need to show us records that prove that:

  • the goods are eligible
  • you have a business need
  • you’ve followed the Temporary Admission procedure

You’ll also need to send us a:

  • letter saying why you need this type of authorisation
  • list of imports you want to include in the retrospective period

The maximum period for a retrospective authorisation is 12 months before the date you apply.

If you’re asking to retrospectively renew an expired authorisation, a retrospective authorisation can be backdated to the date that the previous authorisation expired.

To apply for a retrospective authorisation, you need to have a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one the first time you apply.

Apply online for full authorisation.

If you cannot do this online, you can use the print and post form.

Find out how accessible our forms are.

Authorisation by oral declaration

When you arrive at the border, you can make an oral declaration by submitting form C108.

Email HMRC to ask for this form in Welsh (Cymraeg).

You should present 2 printed copies of the completed form to UK Border Force officers. Copy 2 will be returned to you.

Eligible goods for oral declarations include:

  • pallets and their accessories
  • personal effects
  • sports goods
  • medical, surgical and laboratory equipment
  • reusable packaging
  • containers
  • radio and television production broadcasting equipment (pre-approval is required, read the form C108

If you’re importing reusable packaging or containers, you can make an oral declaration but you do not need to complete form C108.

You may not need to be pre-authorised by HMRC and you’ll not usually be required to provide a guarantee.

See the full list of eligible goods, uses and conditions.

Declarations by crossing the border – ‘by any other act’

The act of crossing the border counts as your declaration. You do not need to fill out any forms. It can only be used for specific goods that have specific uses.

After you apply

When we authorise you, you’ll get a letter that sets out the authorisation conditions.

Conditions include things like:

  • paying Customs Duty and other charges
  • keeping detailed records

You should write to the address on your letter if you want your authorisation to be:

  • amended
  • renewed
  • cancelled

You should also write to us if there has been a change to your business which may impact on your authorisation, such as changing your trading name or being taken over by another business.

Other ways to pay less duty or import VAT

Find out more information about other ways to:

Multi state authorisation

You can only apply for a multi state authorisation that covers sites in Northern Ireland and the EU if you’re established in Northern Ireland.

Published 20 January 2020
Last updated 3 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. This page has been updated with information about using temporary admission in Northern Ireland.

  2. This page has been updated to explain that goods placed under Temporary Admission are not intended to undergo any change, except normal depreciation caused by the use they were made for.

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

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

  5. This page has been updated with information about multi state authorisations in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

  6. An online form has been added.

  7. Form C108 has been added to the 'Authorisation by oral declaration' section so that an oral declaration can be submitted.

  8. First published.