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HMRC internal manual

Customs Special Procedures Manual

Discharge of IP - methods of disposal: re-export as commissary stores

Where the authorisation holder supplies and loads commissary stores to the eligible ship/aircraft, no official documents are required. However, commercial documents used to supply the goods must clearly state their IP authorisation number, the quantity and description of the goods, the ship’s name/aircraft flight number and destination. The authorisation holder should also obtain a stamped receipt from the civil airline, cross channel ferry/hovercraft operator.

Commission Regulation (EEC) No 800/1999 Article 36; Council Regulation (EU) 952/2013, Article 215

IP applications for commissary stores simplified discharge

Application for approval to use the IP simplified discharge for commissary stores can be made by any civil airline, cross channel ferry/hovercraft operator or supplier of commissary stores provided they actually load the commissary stores for first use. Applications for approval must be made using an SP3. The simplifications include:

  • discharge of IP liability when the stores are ‘first loaded’ by the authorisation holder on an eligible flight, ferry or hovercraft (stores loaded for cross-channel trains do not discharge IP)
  • use of commercial documents and stock records in place of a formal customs declaration to discharge IP, or
  • simplifications for periods of discharge and IP Bills of Discharge.

If IP goods are supplied as commissary stores but are not loaded by the authorisation holder, the normal IP requirements apply. The receiving operator must hold an IP authorisation for those goods or have a customs warehouse approval. In these cases any movements to the receiving IP operator must be made using the appropriate movement procedure.

Notice 3001/2015, Annex D, Section 2.9.6


Applications to use the simplified procedures will be identified on Form SP3 box 14. The normal SP3 checks apply, in particular the authorising office must ensure the applicant is the person who loads the stores on eligible flights or ferry crossings and that the goods identified in box 7 of the application are eligible commissary stores. Form SP3 box 5 (records and accounts) must also provide details of what commercial records and stock records will be used to account for the goods that will be loaded as stores. Please note that an authorisation by declaration cannot be used for (or with) procedures for commissary stores.

If approval is granted, the authorisation letter must include the requirement for an exception report for goods in stock at the end of the period for discharge.

Notice 3001/2015, Annex D, Section 2.9.11

Period for discharge

As part of the simplifications a standard 12 month period for discharge will apply. The authorisation holder must submit an exception report listing any goods still held in stock at the end of that 12 month period. The exception report is treated as an application to re-enter the goods to IP. The re-entry to IP is made by notation of a new 12 month period for discharge in the authorisation holder’s commercial records.

Shipment on outbound journeys

Provided the authorisation holders system satisfies required control requirements, no documents need travel with items removed from storage facilities for shipment on eligible journeys.

Offloads from inbound journeys

As first-loading discharges IP liability, any commissary stores removed from inbound journeys are treated as free circulation goods provided the unused commissary stores will be returned to stock for delivery on subsequent journeys. They do not need to be entered in the operators IP stock records, however any offloads subject to import licence restrictions will require an import licence.

If the operator wishes to donate any offloads to charity this may only be permitted provided relief conditions for donations to charities are met, refer to Notice 317 - Imports by charities free of duty and VAT.

If offloads are not returned to stock for supply as commissary stores they must be treated as non-Union goods and declared to free circulation with payment of import charges due or entered to another customs procedure if applicable. Supervising offices must ensure that the IP simplifications for commissary stores are only approved where any offloads are to be returned to stock for subsequent use on eligible journeys. If there is any breach a warning letter should be issued to advise that use of the simplifications will be withdrawn if there is any further breach of conditions.

Information to be included on IP Bills of Discharge

Authorisation holders who supply and load commissary stores will necessarily cross-reference to their commercial records for evidence of disposal as no formal customs declaration will have been made.

Authorisation holders who supply but do not load must provide details of the movement made to another IP authorisation holder or declaration to another customs procedure.