PN 83 - Relief from Customs Duty and VAT for Samples imported from outside the European Union (EU)

Part 1. General

1. General

In certain circumstances samples of goods may be imported from outside the European Union (EU) free from payment of Customs Duty and VAT.  This leaflet describes the goods involved, the relief available and the procedures involved at importation.

Where the imported samples are to remain in the EU, they should be imported under the procedure at Part 2 of this Notice – "Permanent Importations". Where they are intended for re-export, they should be imported under the procedure at Part 3 – "Temporary Admission".

This Public Notice does not cover small representative samples of goods intended for consumption or distribution free of charge to the public at a trade fair exhibition or similar event. Such goods may qualify for a relief under Public Notice No. 567.

Part 2. Permanent Importations

2. Scope of the Relief:

Relief is available for samples of goods which:-

  • Can only be used as samples
  • Are of negligible value and
  • Are intended to obtain orders for the type of goods they represent.

3. Procedure at importation

In the case of imports of goods described in paragraph 2 above:

where the goods are forwarded by post, the declaration on the parcel should be endorsed:

"Samples for trade promotion purposes: Exemption from import charges claimed".

The documentary evidence referred to in paragraph 4 should be attached to the outside of the parcel and marked 'Customs Documents'.

Where goods are imported other than by post they should be entered on the AEP (Automated Entry Processing) System or on an import declaration (SAD) with a claim to relief from Customs Duty and VAT thereon. The appropriate legal reference for completing the SAD are:

  • Article 86 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1186/2009 for Customs Duty; and
  • Article 63 of Council Directive 2009/132/EC for VAT.

Where an electronic customs declaration is made, code C30 must be entered in box 37b.

The entry should be supported by the documentary evidence described in paragraph 4.

Customs may require that to qualify for relief the samples are rendered permanently unusable by being torn, perforated, or clearly and indelibly marked, or by any other process, provided such operation does not destroy their character as samples.

4. Documentary Evidence

A letter from the supplier stating that the goods in question are only to be used as samples to seek orders for the type of goods they represent is required.

Part 3. Temporary Admission

5. Scope of the Relief:

Relief is available for samples of goods which:-

  • Are owned by a person established outside the EU; and
  • Are imported in reasonable quantities and solely used for demonstration purposes.

6. Conditions

The following conditions must be observed:

  1. Security must be provided in the form of –
    1. A valid ATA Carnet (Notice No. 1007 - ATA Carnets Temporary Importation and Exportation of Certain Goods) or
    2. A deposit (refundable when the goods are re-exported), or
    3. A guarantee either from an approved insurance company or a bank licensed by the Central Bank to carry out insurance business. Application for approval to use a guarantee should be made to Revenue at the proposed place of importation, from whom full information as to procedure and all the necessary forms may be obtained.
  2. Period allowed – The goods must be re-exported within the time limit authorised by Revenue at importation. The prescribed maximum period of temporary importation permitted is 24 months. However, where an ATA Carnet covers the goods, they must be re-exported within the period of validity of the Carnet.
  3. Identification – The goods must be capable of being identified at re-exportation. For this purpose marks or seals may be applied to them at importation by Revenue.
  4. Export control – The goods must be re-exported under Customs control.
  5. Prohibited or restricted goods – Goods subject to a national or Union prohibition or restriction may not be imported, except under licence or authorisation issued by the appropriate Authority and presented at importation.

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7. Procedure at Importation

The goods should be presented to Customs at importation.

Where an ATA Carnet is used, the itemised lists on the reverse of the relevant importation voucher should be completed, indicating clearly the items that are being imported. The Revenue Official will stamp and sign the importation voucher and counterfoil and remove the importation voucher. S/he will insert the final date for re-exportation of the goods (which will not be later than the date on which the Carnet’s validity expires) and return the Carnet to the importer.

In all other cases, pdfForm C&E 1047 (Rev 1) - Application for Authorisation to use the Temporary Importation Procedure (PDF, 299KB), should be completed in duplicate and the required security provided.

The Revenue Official will stamp and sign both copies of Form c&e 1047 (Rev 1), fix the time limit during which the goods may remain under temporary importation arrangements, insert the final date for re-exportation on the form and return one copy to the importer.

The Carnet or copy of the Form c&e 1047 (Rev 1) must be produced with the goods when they are being re-exported.

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8. Procedure at Re-Exportation

The goods and documentation should be presented to Revenue at the Export Station in sufficient time to allow for an examination of the goods before the period for temporary importation expires.

Where an ATA Carnet is used, particulars of the goods should be declared on the reverse of the re-exportation voucher bearing the same identifying number as the importation voucher on which the goods were declared at importation. If everything is in order the re-exportation voucher and counterfoil will be stamped and signed by Revenue. The voucher will be detached and the Carnet returned to the importer.

When goods imported on pdfForm C&E 1047 (Rev 1) - Application for Authorisation to use the Temporary Importation Procedure (PDF, 299KB) are re-exported, a copy of the form with Part III completed should be presented to Revenue. Where all the goods are correctly re-exported, the form will be retained by Revenue and arrangements will be made to refund the deposit or release the security as appropriate.

9. Transfer of Authorisation

Temporary importation facilities may be transferred to another person subject to certain conditions. Requests for such transfers should be made to Revenue at the place of importation.

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10. Partial Relief from Customs Duty

Goods that do not meet all the conditions set out in this Notice for temporary admission without payment of import charges may, in certain circumstances, qualify for temporary admission with partial relief from Customs Duty. This involves payment of a percentage of the full amount of customs duty in respect of each month the goods remain in the EU.

Note: Relief from VAT is not allowable in these cases.

11. Further Information

Enquiries regarding any issue contained in this Notice should be addressed to the Revenue District responsible for your tax affairs. Contact details for all Revenue Districts can be found on the Contact Details Page.

April 2016

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