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HMRC internal manual

VAT Supplies in Warehouse and Fiscal Warehousing

Usual forms of handling

VWRHS3020 details the circumstances under which certain services performed in a customs warehouse may be relieved from VAT. The same eligible services also apply to fiscal warehousing - see VWRHS4120. One of these potentially eligible services is termed usual forms of handling: these are set out in the following paragraphs.

Simple operations to ensure the preservation of the goods in good condition during storage

  1. Ventilation, spreading out, drying, removal of dust, simple cleaning operations, repair of packing, elementary repairs of damage incurred during transport or storage insofar as it concerns simple operations, application and removal of protective coating for transport.
  2. Stocktaking, sampling and weighing of the goods.
  3. Removal of damaged or contaminated components.
  4. Conservation by means of irradiation or the addition of preservatives.
  5. Treatment against parasites.
  6. Any treatment by lowering the temperature, even if this results in a different eight-digit tariff commodity code.

Operations which improve the presentation or marketability of goods

  1. Stemming and/or pitting of fruit.
  2. Assembly and mounting of goods, only if this concerns the mounting onto a complete product of accessories which do not play an essential role in the manufacture of the product, even if this results in a different eight-digit tariff commodity code for the mounted goods or accessories (for example mounting of a radio or windscreen wipers in a motor vehicle).
  3. Desalination, cleaning and butting of hides.
  4. Addition of goods, of one or more different types of goods, so long as this addition is relatively small and does not change the nature of the original goods (for example the addition of additives, butane or lead to petrol, addition of orange pulp, orange oils or orange flavours to orange juice, and so on); even if this results in a different eight-digit tariff commodity code for the added goods; the added goods could also be products which were placed under the warehousing regime, or which were placed in the free zone or free warehouse.
  5. The dilution of fluids, even if the result is a different eight-digit tariff commodity code.
  6. The mixing between them of the same kind of goods, with a different quality, in order to obtain a constant quality or a quality which is requested by the customer, without changing the nature of the goods.
  7. Dividing the goods if only simple operations are involved.

Operations which prepare goods for distribution or resale

  1. Sorting, mechanical filtering, classification and shifting.
  2. Adjusting and regulation.
  3. Packing, unpacking, change of packing, decanting and simple transfer into containers, even if this results in a different eight-digit tariff commodity code.
  4. The affixing and altering of marks. Seals, labels, price tags or other similar distinguishing signs; this may not give rise to the obtaining of an apparent origin different from the real one.
  5. Testing, adjusting and putting into working order of machines, apparatus and vehicles, if only simple operations are involved.
  6. Testing in order to control the compliance with European technical standards.
  7. Cutting up and breaking down of dried fruits or vegetables.
  8. Anti-rust treatment.
  9. Reconstruction of the goods after transport.
  10. The raising of temperature in order to allow the goods to be transported.
  11. The ironing of textiles.
  12. Electrostatic treatment of textiles.