Permanent importation of samples

You can import samples of goods for trade promotion purposes from outside the European Union (EU) free from payment of Customs Duty and Value-Added Tax (VAT).  To get this relief your goods must:

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

Revenue may request that the samples are rendered permanently unusable. The samples may be torn, perforated or indelibly marked.

Procedure at importation

You will need a letter from the supplier confirming that your goods are only to be used as samples to seek orders for the type of goods they represent. This must be attached to the outside of the parcel and marked ‘customs documents’.

If you are importing your goods through the post, the declaration (CN22 or CN23) on the parcel should state the following:

'Samples for trade promotion purposes: exemption from import charges claimed'.

If you are importing your goods other than by post, for example, by courier, an electronic declaration is required and the goods must be presented to Revenue. Code C30 should be entered in box 37b of the Customs Declaration to avail of the relief.

Further information

If you require further information, contact the Authorisations and Reliefs Unit.