Pay less import duty and VAT when re-importing goods to the UK and EU

HMRC have published guidance on when you can claim reliefs to pay less customs duty and VAT if you re-import goods to the UK and EU.

The relief which is known as Returned Good Relief, can be claimed where goods are re-imported into the UK or EU that had been previously exported. Goods must have remained in an unaltered state, unless the work carried out was to maintain the goods in working order. Goods cannot have been upgrades to increase their value.

The goods must also:

  • have been in free circulation in the UK and EU when they were exported, unless they were originally declared to inward processing or end-use
  • not have been exported to be repaired or processed, if they were but the repair or process was not carried out, relief may still be available
  • be re-imported within 3 years of their export, shorter periods apply to goods which benefited from agricultural measures at export

What you can claim relief on

You can get relief on goods being imported into the UK or EU following their export from the UK or EU as free circulation goods.

This includes:

  • goods exported from the UK or EU as free circulation goods and benefited from agricultural measures
  • goods exported from the UK or EU following inward processing
  • goods previously declared to end-use, if the goods are put to the same authorised use when imported
  • goods temporarily exported using the Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission (ATA) or Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) carnet procedures
  • goods that have been declared for an outward processing procedure and exported which remain:
    • unprocessed on re-import
    • in the same state as they were when originally exported
  • returned personal effects, vehicles, sports equipment or means of transport
  • returned professional and commercial equipment that have been hired, leased or loaned outside the UK and EU

You can get relief on pallets, containers and packaging suitable for re-use, for example if they are:

  • used to import goods to the UK or EU
  • pallets and containers previously exported or used to export goods from the UK or EU, and then re-imported to the UK or EU

When to claim

Relief claims should be made at the time of import. If you do not do this then HMRC may accept a late claim and repay appropriate charges subject to conditions.

How to claim

In order to successfully claim for the relief you will need to prove that the goods satisfy the conditions for acceptance as returned goods at the time of export from the UK.

When you re-import the goods you will needs to show:

  • The original export declaration
  • A completed officially authenticated information sheet form C&E 1158 along with form C1314 if appropriate.