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HMRC internal manual

Diplomatic Privileges Manual

Introduction: system and control objectives

The system objectives are to:

  • Facilitate the reliefs and immunities afforded to diplomatic missions and diplomatic personnel
  • Facilitate the reliefs in accordance with our international obligations to the entitled bodies and personnel
  • Operate minimal, light touch, risk based checks without infringement of any immunity or inviolability

The administration of any appropriate reliefs is the responsibility of each mission. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is responsible for any quantitative restrictions that may be applicable.

The control objectives are to ensure that:

  • only entitled missions and individuals use the special arrangements
  • the special arrangements are adhered to and are not abused
  • any quantitative restrictions are adhered to, and
  • duty and/or VAT free goods are not sold, hired out, lent or given as security to non entitled persons except under agreed official arrangements