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HMRC internal manual

Import preference guidance notes

General principles: entering preference goods for customs warehousing

  • the importer does not yet possess the preference document and is prepared to await its receipt before entering the goods to free circulation rather than provide security
  • the goods are subject to a quota or ceiling which has been exhausted and the importer is prepared to defer entering the goods to free circulation until the preference becomes available again, usually at the beginning of the next year, or
  • the importer wishes to defer payment of VAT.

Preference documents are valid for a limited period. Importers who keep goods in warehouse for long periods of time risk losing preferential treatment unless they present the preference document to the warehouse keeper for entry in the records before its expiry date.

You can find more information on these procedures in R5-3 Customs Warehousing and Notice 826 Tariff Preferences: Imports.