Introduction: scope of this guidance
This manual is intended to provide clear guidance to staff involved in the application of privileges, immunities and reliefs from duty and VAT on the importation, acquisition and withdrawal from warehouse of goods under diplomatic privilege. It should not be relied on by businesses in calculating their taxes and/or duties.
These reliefs are available to diplomatic missions and recognised International Organisations in the UK, their qualifying staff and their qualifying dependents. However, the privileges and immunities may extend to:
- consulates, their qualifying staff and qualifying dependents and accompanying property
- International Organisations outside the UK, their qualifying staff and qualifying dependents and accompanying property
- diplomatic agents transiting the UK on their way to or from a diplomatic post, their qualifying dependents and accompanying property
- visiting foreign Government Ministers
- visiting Heads of State, their qualifying dependents and accompanying property
This is not an exhaustive list.
This manual does not cover returning British diplomats returning from a posting, British diplomatic bags and couriers since they are outside the scope of the relief - please refer to HMRC Public Notice 3.