Export and return of goods for repair to and from the EU

We understand that in the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement (TCA), there is a clause that permits us to send goods to the EU for repair without them having to be approved for a special customs procedure such as Outward Processing relief (OP). Our freight forwarder is saying this isn’t the case and we need to be approved to export goods for repair to the EU. Is this correct?

Answer

Guidance was issued early in September 2021 by UK customs to cover this point. Although the TCA came into force in January 2021, the use of what is known as Article GOODS.8: Repaired Goods was not originally possible so your freight forwarder was correct. You did need specific approval under Outward Processing relief (OP).

This has been amended and the guidance now states that you can export goods for repair, without advanced authorisation, to the EU (or any other country the UK has a trade agreement with, bearing a similar clause covering repaired goods) and re-import with duty and VAT waived.

The Customs Procedure Code (CPC) you must use at export is 21-00-000 and the goods can go for repair or “alteration” within the constraints of this CPC, and back into the UK under CPC 61-21-000. Duty and VAT will be waived accordingly. However, if there is a cost for the process, for example the goods are not under a warranty for repair, duty and VAT will still have to be paid on the process/repair charges. Due to this change, CPC 21-00-004 should no longer be used for OP exports to the EU.

Article GOODS.8: Repaired goods

“1. A Party shall not apply a customs duty to a good, regardless of its origin, that re-enters the Party’s territory after that good has been temporarily exported from its territory to the territory of the other Party for repair.

“2. Paragraph 1 does not apply to a good imported in bond, into free trade zones, or in similar status, that is then exported for repair and is not re-imported in bond, into free trade zones, or in similar status.

“3. A Party shall not apply a customs duty to a good, regardless of its origin, imported temporarily from the territory of the other Party for repair.”

Source: Published on Croner-i (https://app.croneri.co.uk)

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