Find out how to claim a Customs Duty waiver if you are bringing goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain or countries outside the UK and EU which might otherwise be charged ‘at risk’ tariffs.
Applies to Northern Ireland
You should first check if you can claim a waiver before applying.
How much you can claim will be based on an allowance made up of both:
- non-customs de minimis state aid you’ve received outside of the customs duty waiver scheme
- de minimis state aid you’ve received as part of the customs duty waiver scheme
Together these are known as ‘de minimis state aid’.
How you can claim
The maximum allowances for each sector are:
- 30,000 euros over 3 tax years for the fisheries and aquaculture sector
- 20,000 euros over 3 tax years for the agricultural primary production sector
- 300,000 euros over 3 tax years for all other sectors
Over 3 tax years means that every time you get a new de minimis state aid payment, you need to consider the total amount of de minimis state aid granted in the current tax year and the previous 2 tax years.
Most businesses can claim up to a maximum of 300,000 euros of aid over 3 tax years. The period of 3 years is assessed on a rolling basis.
Your de minimis allowance applies to the whole of your undertaking. This includes any enterprises linked to your business that have at least one of the following relationships with each other:
- one enterprise has a majority of the shareholders’ or members’ voting rights in another enterprise
- one enterprise has the right to appoint or remove a majority of the members of the administrative, management or supervisory body of another enterprise
- one has the right to exercise a dominant influence over another enterprise in line with a contract entered into with that enterprise or to a provision in its memorandum or articles of association
- one enterprise, which is a shareholder in or member of another enterprise, controls alone (in line with an agreement with other shareholders in or members of that enterprise) a majority of shareholders’ or members’ voting rights in that enterprise
For example, you must count any de minimis state aid received by a parent company or subsidiary as part of your single undertaking’s de minimis allowance.
Before you claim you should check that your business (as a single undertaking) has not exceeded the maximum allowance.
The maximum allowance includes all de minimis state aid you claim over a period of 3 tax years, including de minimis state aid which is not related to Customs Duty, such as Employment Allowance.
If a business in your undertaking is involved in more than one sector where a lower allowance applies, the lowest allowance will apply for your whole undertaking.
If your claim goes over the allowance for the sector that your undertaking is in, you may be subject to recovery proceedings and have to pay interest on the amount you have claimed.
Primary production of agricultural products
If any part of your business is involved in the primary production of agricultural products, you can claim a waiver for Customs Duty.
An ‘agricultural product’ is any product found in annex 1 to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
‘Primary production of agricultural products’ means the production of products listed in annex 1 (except fishery and aquaculture products), without any further changes to the nature of the products.
On-farm activities which are needed to prepare an animal or plant product for first sale are included in the definition of ‘primary production’. Examples of on-farm activities include:
- cutting and threshing of cereals
- packing eggs
Processing and marketing agricultural products
If any business in your undertaking process and market agricultural products but are not involved in the primary production of them, this restriction does not apply. As long as you are not involved in any other sector which has a lower allowance, you are eligible for the general 300,000 euros limit over 3 tax years.
‘Processing of agricultural products’ means any action to an agricultural product which produces another agricultural product, such as making beer from hops and bread from wheat.
‘Marketing of agricultural products’ means holding or displaying products you are intending to sell or deliver or place on the market in any other way. The exceptions to this are the first sale by a primary producer to resellers or processors and any activity preparing a product for the first sale.
A sale by a primary producer to final consumers is considered marketing if it takes place in separate premises for that purpose.
Production, processing or marketing of fishery and aquaculture products
If any business in your undertaking is involved in the production, processing or marketing of fishery and aquaculture products, you can claim a waiver for Customs Duty.
A ‘fishery product’ means aquatic organisms resulting from any fishing activity or products derived from them. An ‘aquaculture product’ means aquatic organisms at any stage of their life cycle resulting from any aquaculture activity or products derived from them.
You can find a full list in annex 1 to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
‘Processing and marketing’ mean all operations, including handling, treatment, production and distribution, performed between the time of landing or harvesting and the end-product stage.
Working out the value of your claim
This type of aid is measured in euros, so it is important to convert any aid received from pound sterling into euros.
You can use the InforEuro exchange rate tool to calculate the applicable euro equivalent of the value of the waiver for the month you were awarded the aid.
How to claim
You claim a waiver for Customs Duty on your import declaration.
You need to submit a declaration each time you move goods. The Trader Support Service will be able to complete declarations and make a claim on your behalf.
If you complete declarations yourself, you can use the UK Trade Tariff: volume 3.
If you have underpaid customs duty on ‘at risk’ goods you can also claim a customs duty waiver to cover the outstanding customs duty by using the apply for a voluntary clearance amendment (underpayment) (C2001) form. You can do this by choosing the de minimus state aid option on the form.
If you have paid customs duty on ‘at risk’ goods in the past 3 years, you can apply for a repayment using the customs duty waiver by using the C285 form.
After you’ve claimed
You will need to report and manage your allowance for Customs Duty waiver claims as soon as possible after claiming.