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HMRC internal manual

Customs Special Procedures Manual

Introduction: aims and objectives of Special Procedures

The conditions relating to the operation of special procedures are laid down in EU law. Depending on the procedure used, they allow for customs duties and other taxes due on goods to be relieved or suspended so long as the requirements of the procedure are met.

From an HMRC point of view a basic condition of granting any Special Procedure authorisation is that it must be possible to supervise and monitor use of the relief without having to introduce administrative arrangements disproportionate to the economic needs involved.

UCC Article 211 4. (a)

Many of the sections in this manual are generic to special procedures (conditions/requirements described relate to all special procedures) but sometimes they differ by procedure so there is a separate section in this manual on each special procedure as follows:

  • SPE13000 Specific rules and processes relating to Inward Processing
  • SPE14000 Specific rules and processes relating to Outward Processing
  • SPE15000 Specific rules and processes relating to Customs Warehousing
  • SPE16000 Specific rules and processes relating to End-use
  • SPE17000 Specific rules and processes relating to Temporary Admission

Unless otherwise stated the term ‘duty’ applies to all or any of the following types: customs duty, specific customs duty, anti-dumping duty, countervailing duty and climate change levy.

So long as all the conditions/requirements of the Special Procedure are met they offer the following benefits:

  • Inward Processing allows for the payment of customs duties and import VAT to be suspended on goods imported from outside the EU (third country goods) whilst processing is taking place. If they are re-exported from the EU, the customs duties and import VAT will not be collected. If they are released to free circulation after processing, the duties and import VAT will need to be paid.
  • End-use allows for reduced or nil rates of Customs duty (or agricultural charge) on certain goods imported from non-EU countries, provided that the goods are put to a prescribed end use. Goods released after being entered to End-use are in free circulation, and therefore of Union Status. Some goods that are entitled to End-use relief, are also subject to Tariff Quotas.  Tariff Quotas Guidance Notes (TQGN) manual provides further information on Tariff Quota controls and procedures.
  • Temporary Admission allows for Economic operators to be authorised to import goods with total or partial relief from customs duties and other charges because of the specific use to which the goods will be put.
  • Outward Processing allows EU traders to:
    • temporarily export Union goods for processing or repair, and to re-import the processed products with total or partial relief from import duties
    • obtain relief from import duties on goods imported under the Standard Exchange System (SES) as replacements for Union goods exported, or to be exported, from the Union for repair.
  • Customs Warehousing allows for non-Union goods, which are chargeable with duty or are otherwise not in free circulation, to be stored without payment of customs duty and where appropriate excise duty or import VAT in a customs warehouse.

The following sections of the CAA manual outline further the benefits of each special procedure under the UCC.

Prior authorisation - storage/CAA03100

Prior authorisation - Processing/CAA03110

Prior authorisation - specific use/CAA03120