Relief from Customs Duty and VAT on the importation of miscellaneous documents and articles - CDPN18
Miscellaneous documents and articles may be imported from non-European Union (EU) countries free from payment of Customs Duty and VAT. This leaflet describes the goods involved, the relief available and the procedures involved at importation.
2. Relief Available
The following shall be admitted free from payment of Customs Duty and VAT:
- Documents sent free of charge to the public services of Member States of the EU;
- Publications of foreign governments or of official international bodies intended for distribution free of charge;
- Ballot papers for elections organised by bodies set up in non-EU countries;
- Objects to be submitted as evidence or similar to the courts or other official agencies of the Member States;
- Specimen signatures and printed circulars concerning signatures set as part of customary exchanges of information between public services or banking establishments;
- Official printed matter sent to the central banks of the Member States;
- Reports, statements, notes, prospectuses, application forms and other documents drawn up by companies registered in a non-EU country and sent to the bearers or subscribers of securities issued by such companies;
- Recorded media (sound recordings, microfilms, etc.) used for the transmission of information sent free of charge to the addressee, in so far as duty-free admission does not give rise to abuses or to major distortions of competition;
- Files, archives, printed forms and other documents to be used in international meetings, conferences or congresses, and reports on such gatherings;
- Plans, technical drawings, traced designs, descriptions and other similar documents imported with a view to obtaining or fulfilling orders in third countries or to participating in a competition held in the EU;
- Documents to be used in examinations held in the EU by institutions set up in non-EU countries;
- Printed forms to be used as official documents in the international movement of vehicles or goods, within the framework of international conventions;
- Printed forms, labels, tickets and similar documents sent by transport undertakings or by undertakings of the hotel industry in a non-EU country to travel agencies set up in the EU;
- Printed forms and tickets, bills of lading, way-bills and other commercial or office documents which have been used;
- Official printed forms from non-EU country or international authorities, and printed matter conforming to international standards sent for distribution by non-EU country associations to corresponding associations located in the EU;
- Photographs, slides and stereotype mats for photographs, whether or not captioned, sent to press agencies or newspaper or magazine publishers;
- Tax and similar stamps proving payment of charges in non-EU countries.
The following shall be admitted free from payment of VAT:
- Collectors’ pieces and works of art of an educational, scientific or cultural character which are not intended for sale and which are imported by museums, galleries and other institutions approved by Revenue for the purpose of duty-free admission of these goods.
The exemption is granted only on condition that the articles in question are imported free of charge, or if they are imported for payment, that they are not supplied by a taxable person.
There may be relief from Customs Duty under Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials. Please see Notice (MS Word, 228KB)
3. Prior Approval Required
Importers claiming the relief referred to at paragraphs 2 (r) should apply to Customs Procedures Branch, Government Offices, St. Conlon’s Rd., Nenagh, Co. Tipperary for initial approval before any importation is undertaken.
4. Procedure at importation
Where goods are forwarded by post, the declaration on the parcel should be endorsed:
"Miscellaneous Documents and Articles: Exemption from import charges claimed".
Where required, the documentary evidence outlined in paragraph 5 should be attached to the outside of the parcel and marked 'Customs Documents'.
Where goods are imported other than by post the goods should be presented to Revenue accompanied by an import declaration (SAD), with a claim to relief from import charges thereon. For the purposes of completion of the SAD, the legal references are:
Article 104 of Regulation (EC) No. 1186/2009 for Customs Duty;
Article 81 of Directive 2009/132/EC for VAT
Code C36 should be entered in box 37 b of the SAD in order to avail of the relief from Customs Duty and VAT.
5. Documentary evidence
In cases where the importer is importing goods under (r) (s)he must apply in writing to Customs Procedures Branch, Nenagh for a letter of authorisation to import the goods in question.
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.
Corporate Affairs and Customs Division,
Customs Procedures Branch,