Under the Union Customs Code (Parliament and Council Regulation 952/2013 which mostly entered into force in May 2016 along with the related Delegating and Implementing Acts), “Customs Special Procedures” includes:

  • Inward Processing (IP)
  • Outward Processing (OP)
  • Customs Warehousing
  • End-Use
  • Temporary Importation
  • Free Zones

These Special Procedures are largely dealt with in the same way, with some differences where required by the specific regime.

This page shows some of the areas where 4 Eyes Ltd has assisted clients.  There are many other procedures and possibilities than can be discussed here.


Inward Processing Relief (IP or IPR) 

Goods which are imported to the UK for processing may often qualify for IPR if the products of the processing will normally be re-exported outside of the EU.  Import duty is either relieved at import or reclaimed following export of the product.  In many cases import VAT can also be relieved.  In the experience of 4 Eyes Ltd some companies, including large retailers, do not identify this opportunity and therefore continue to pay import duties unnecessarily, adding significantly to their bottom-line product costs.  IPR users must maintain accurate records, which can be audited by HMRC, and must ensure that the correct disposal procedures are followed and documented. 4 Eyes Ltd can help clients to identify all relevant savings and reliefs, and to achieve the maximum benefit at the minimum cost.


Customs Warehousing

Customs warehouses allow companies to store goods for extended periods without payment of customs duty and import VAT. In addition, in the UK, most transactions occurring within the warehouse are outside the scope of VAT. It is also possible to combine a customs warehouse with other regimes such as IPR, so that goods may be processed and then returned to the warehouse for storage. Therefore, significant savings can be achieved by judicious use of appropriate customs warehousing schemes. 4 Eyes Ltd can help clients to identify all relevant savings and reliefs; to develop appropriate and proportionate accounting procedures; and to achieve the maximum benefit at the minimum cost. 4 Eyes Ltd has worked with many major IPR processors including (manufacturers and retailers) in the UK, France and Germany.


Outward Processing (OP or OPR)

EU goods which are exported to a non-EU destination for processing or repair may benefit from duty relief on their re-importation into the UK. OP allows businesses to take advantage of cheaper labour costs outside the UK and EU, while encouraging the use of UK or EU produced raw materials to manufacture the finished products. Goods may also be temporarily exported to undergo processes not available within the Union. The procedure also allows faulty goods to be returned to a third country for repair, or for replacement with equivalent goods under the Standard Exchange System (“SES”). It is essential to be clear about the potential benefit of OP to the importer. For example, if the goods are subject only import VAT you cannot use OPR. 4 Eyes Ltd can help clients to quantify the potential benefits from using OP and to develop appropriate and proportionate accounting procedures. 4 Eyes Ltd has worked with many OP processors in sectors as varied as electronics, automotive and clothing.


End-Use Relief (End-Use)

This is available for products used in specific industries, notably the energy sector and civil aviation.


Temporary Admission (TA)

Covers products imported for e.g. evaluation and testing, and exhibition. The goods cannot be “processed” and may only remain in the UK for a limited time. In some cases, partial relief may be available even if complete relief is not allowed. The complete list of goods potentially eligible for some kind of TA is very long and includes products as diverse as “professional equipment”, medical equipment, means of transport and civil aircraft.