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HMRC internal manual

Diplomatic Privileges Manual

Goods and services for the official use of entitled missions: extent of privileges

Entitled missions and persons are allowed relief from VAT and duty on the:

  • import of goods from non EU member states
  • acquisition of goods and services from suppliers in other EU member states
  • withdrawal of goods from warehouses

where the goods are for the official use of the mission or for the personal use of entitled individuals and their accompanying dependants.

With the exception of goods for the official use of an International Organisation, both the mission and the individual are subject to all prohibitions and restrictions. Certain goods, such as motor vehicles, perfumes, alcohol and tobacco products, are subject to quotas administered by the FCO.

There is no entitlement for the mission or the individual to purchase goods or services free of duty and/or VAT within the UK apart from vehicles manufactured in the European Economic Area (EEA)/European Free Trade Area (EFTA) (see DIPPRIV6200). The FCO administers some special schemes for certain missions (see DIPPRIV9200) and any enquiries about these should be directed to them.