HMRC guidance on re-importing and re-exporting

HMRC has released guidance about some of the approvals and special procedures that help simplify customs processing and reduce VAT and Customs Duty owed. These are useful if you are a business that usually re-imports or re-exports as part of your business process.

Inward processing

This is a customs special procedure that allows you to suspend Customs Duty and import VAT on goods you bring into the UK for repair or as materials for manufacturing. You will not need to pay duty or import VAT on the goods if you re-export them following processing or repair.

For example, this may apply if you’re bringing your camera equipment into the UK from France for repairs with the intention of returning them to France. Or, if you are bringing in fabric to be made into dresses which you will then export.

Find more information on using inward processing on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

Outward processing

This allows you to temporarily export goods outside the UK for processing or repair and pay less Customs Duty and import VAT when you re-import them into the UK.

This may apply, for example, if you are exporting a batch of computers to Germany to be repaired and returned to the UK. Or if you’re exporting bales of fabric to Romania to be made into prom dresses and then re-imported into the UK.

Find out more on using outward processing on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

Temporary Admission

This is a special procedure that allows you to temporarily import goods into the UK or move goods from Great Britain into Northern Ireland without paying Customs Duty or import VAT. You may use the goods for up to two years or more, before re-exporting them.

For example, this may apply if you are temporarily bringing in samples, professional equipment or items for auction, exhibition or demonstration into the UK.

You can apply for Temporary Admission if you are the person using the goods or you’re arranging for the goods to be used on your behalf.

Find more information on how to apply to import goods temporarily on GOV.UK.

Returned Goods Relief

This allows you to claim relief from Customs Duty and import VAT if you are re-importing items into the UK that have previously been exported. When you re-import your items, you will need to make sure they have not been altered, apart from work to maintain them.

This may apply, for example, if you are re-importing office furniture, equipment or instruments because you’re moving back to the UK from an EU country where you previously exported the goods to.

Find out more on paying less import duty and VAT, when re-importing goods on GOV.UK.

Customs warehousing

This allows you to suspend Customs Duty and VAT on goods that you import into the UK and store in a warehouse to be re-exported. Duty and VAT will only become payable when the goods are removed from the warehouse into UK circulation.

For example, no duty or VAT will be payable if you import goods from China to be stored in a warehouse in the UK before being re-exported to Europe.

Find out more information on how to use a customs warehouse on GOV.UK.

See: Customs processing: Check if you can make them quicker, simpler or cheaper (

As always, we will keep you up to date on new announcements and please do talk to us about any Brexit related matters. We are here to support your business. Email or contact your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.