Relief from Customs Duty and VAT on the importation of student goods - CDPN19

1. Introduction

The personal belongings of students from non-European Union (EU) countries who come to the EU to study may be imported without payment of Customs Duty and VAT. This leaflet describes the relief available, the associated conditions and the procedures involved at import.

2. Relief Available

Students who come to stay in the EU for the purpose of studying here, may import their personal belongings (i.e. outfits, educational materials and household effects) free from the payment of Customs Duty and VAT under the following conditions:

  1. The student must be enrolled in an educational establishment in order to attend a full-time course there; and
  2. The goods must belong to the student and are intended only for his/her personal use during the period of his/her studies; and
  3. The goods represent those normally required;
    1. to furnish a student’s room; and
    2. for the purpose of their studies.

The relief may be granted at least once per school year.

3. Definitions

Pupil or Student – means any person enrolled in an educational establishment in order to attend full-time the courses offered therein.

Outfit – means underwear or household linen as well as clothing, whether or not new.

Educational materials – means objects and instruments (including calculators and personal computers) normally used by pupils or students for the purposes of their studies.

Household effect – means personal effects, household linen, furnishings and equipment intended for the personal use of the persons concerned or for meeting their household needs.

4. Documentary Evidence

A letter from the Educational establishment, confirming that the importer has enrolled in a full-time course there, is required for presentation to Revenue at the time of importation. Revenue may require the importer to provide a further letter from the Educational establishment confirming the necessity of the goods.

5. Procedure at importation

Where goods are forwarded to the student by post, the importer needs to ensure that the declaration on the parcel is endorsed as follows by the person sending the goods:

"Educational Materials: Exemption from import charges claimed".

The documentary evidence as outlined at 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 presented to Revenue accompanied by an import declaration (SAD), containing a claim to relief from Customs Duty and VAT. For the purposes of completion of the SAD, the legal references are:

Article 21 of Regulation (EC) No. 1186/2009 for Customs Duty;

Article 21 of Directive 2009/132/EC for VAT

Code C06 should be entered in box 37 b of the SAD in order to avail of the relief from Customs Duty and VAT. The import declaration should be accompanied by the documentary evidence outlined in paragraph 4.

6. Further Information

Enquiries regarding any issue contained in this Information Leaflet 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.

Customs Division,
Customs Procedures Branch,
Government Offices,
Co. Tipperary.

August 2012

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