Service for Importers

Areas to Consider

In dealing with non-EU imports there are 3 broad areas of compliance and opportunity to consider for Customs Duty and Import VAT purposes. These are:

  1. Facilitation Schemes
  2. Commodity Codes of Goods Imported
  3. Valuation of Imports

Types of Facilitation Schemes

There are a number of facilitations schemes available that provide both an increase in cash flow as well as actual Duty and Import VAT savings.  See the table below for the different types of facilitation schemes for importers:

Types of Facilitation Schemes



Reduced rates of Duty are available on imports of specified goods originating from 'preferential' trading partner countries within the EU. However, the rules for determining origin require close consideration.

Customs Warehousing

A trade facilitation scheme which assists cash flow management, predominantly of interest to businesses who carry stock for at least several months.

Excise Warehousing

Similar to Customs warehousing but for excisable goods such as alcohol, tobacco and oils. Excise warehousing may be available to importers of excise goods from both EU countries and elsewhere.

Inward Processing Relief

Designed to alleviate Customs Duty and import VAT where goods have been imported for processing and re-export. Beware though, the EU has recently tightened up on ensuring the conditions for using this scheme are met in full.

Returned Goods Relief

Goods of EU origin lose their EU status at export, and returned goods relief is a Customs Duty and import VAT relief for UK/EU goods re-imported following use abroad. This relief avoids double taxation on UK/EU origin goods, but there are of course conditions to meet.

Outward Processing Relief

Designed to minimise Customs Duty and VAT where goods are re-imported following process or repair.

Processing Under Customs Control

Relief from import Duty on some raw materials imported for manufacture (relief encourages businesses to manufacture rather than import finished products).

Reliefs for Specific Goods

Savings on importing specific goods, for example civil aircraft and their parts, scientific instruments, research goods.

Temporary Import Reliefs

Including goods for testing and goods for exhibition purposes – these can be imported VAT and Duty free.

Import VAT Relief

Import VAT can be relieved if goods are imported and then shipped to prior order within the EU.

The Customs People can provide proactive advice to determine whether facilitation schemes are available and, if so, we can help importers operate in a compliant but effective manner.

Valuation & Commodity Codes

As detailed on our home page it is very important that importers act in a proactive manner since they are the responsible party for the information declared.

To that end it is imperative that the importer is actively involved in both determining and advising the correct values and commodity code descriptions as these affect the rate of duty payable and amount of duty payable.

We can provide proactive advice in:

  • Determining the correct value that should be used for duty and VAT purposes (the rules being complex in some instances)
  • Assisting in the establishment of the most appropriate and beneficial commodity codes in order that all importers minimise their duty and VAT liabilities.

Get in touch

Contact The Customs People today to discuss your business requirements and find out how we can help your business by calling 0161 826 8926, or fill out an online enquiry form and we will get back to you.

Success Stories

  • "Company 'O' was able to increase the value of sales made to its customer within the contract price after taking advantage of End-Use relief. This meant the initial $3.5million import in a 25 year contract was VAT and duty free."

    Canadian Company 'O' -
  • "Cotton importer 'G' was at risk of losing money through the use of a wrong commodity code - this meant instead of 0% duty, 8% was applied, landing them with a bill of £80,000. Our investigations led to the assessment being waived, and the bill being cancelled."

    Cotton Importer -
  • "Company 'R' took advantage of our planning advice and structured purchases to ensure they were making the most of their options. Advice given included audit trail help, and anti-dumping duty guidance. "

    UK Company 'R' -
Read All Success Stories

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