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HMRC internal manual

Diplomatic Privileges Manual

Diplomatic bags: markings and documentation

All diplomatic bags (see DIPPRIV9100) should be marked as follows:

  • The package must bear a seal in wax, metal or plastic affixed by the competent authority of the sending state or of the diplomatic mission who sent the package
  • The package must be addressed to the Head of the Mission or Consular post, or the Minister of Foreign Affairs and carry an official stamp of the sending state or diplomatic mission who sent the package
  • Where the package is in the custody of a diplomatic courier, that courier must have an official document showing the courier’s status (for example a special courier’s passport) and a document issued by the sending authority stating the number of packages which make up the diplomatic bag
  • Where the bag is in the custody of the captain of an aircraft, a document showing the number of packages is required
  • All diplomatic bags imported as freight or unaccompanied baggage should be checked to ensure they bear the correct markings, but must not be scanned or examined internally. A formal customs entry should be made on Form C88 and must be entered to CPC 40 00 008 or 49 00 008. For goods imported under diplomatic privilege, such as goods that are for the personal or official use of the diplomat or mission, but are not labelled or marked as a diplomatic bag, Form C426 should support the entry. (See DIPPRIV3300 or DIPPRIV5200 for further information). Form C426 is not required for correctly labelled and marked diplomatic bags