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HMRC internal manual

Customs Special Procedures Manual

Sampling and testing: definition of a sample

The dictionary definition of sample is as follows:

1 A small part or quantity intended to show what the whole is like.
2 A small amount of fabric, food or other commodity especially given to a prospective customer.
3 A specimen, especially one taken for scientific testing or analysis.


Note: In most instances, a sample as defined by 1 and 2 above will be covered by the Community Systems of Duty Relief (CSDR) in* *Council Regulation 1186/2009. A declaration to CSDR will be required using the appropriate Customs Procedure Code (CPC) and an authorisation for Usual Forms of Handling (UFH) will not be needed. (CSDR may also be appropriate to samples as defined by 3 above but only if the sample is used to destruction.) It should be noted that that CSDR only provides relief for customs duty and import VAT. To decide whether CSDR is more appropriate than UFH you should consult Notice 372 or further information on CSDR.

This only applies to goods deposited into customs warehouse already in a sample state, in essence, marked samples, low value goods (goods turned into samples qualify as low value) and only able to presented as samples (clearly not in appearance able to be sold).