If you are a business which currently use Customs Special Procedures or you are exploring the possibility and benefits of using these procedures, please read on…

The use of customs special procedures currently allows approved businesses to import goods from non-EU countries and suspend, or relieve, some or all of the associated UK import duties. HMRC recently announced an update regarding how potential changes may affect customs special procedure (CSP) authorisations in the UK from 1 January 2021.

The customs special procedures currently most widely used by businesses include:

  • Inward Processing
  • Outward Processing
  • Temporary Admission
  • Authorised Use (also referred to as End Use)
  • Customs Warehousing.

From 1 January 2021, CSP holders will be able to use their existing authorisations for goods imported from EU countries, as well as goods they already import from non-EU countries. This change would extend the scope of the import reliefs available for many UK businesses.

In order to incorporate EU movements, businesses will need to request an amendment to their authorisation if there are any changes to:

  • The range of commodity codes
  • Quantities
  • Values
  • Any details which may impact the specific terms of the authorisation.

For businesses authorised to place goods into a CSP, including moving those goods into the EU, this authorisation will still be valid but in the UK only. Unfortunately, the EU has indicated that a customs procedure such as customs warehousing, issued by the UK, will not be valid in the EU from 1 January 2021. Any businesses named on authorisations issued by an EU customs authority to place goods into a CSP in the UK, will not be able to receive goods in the UK under this authorisation from 1 January 2021. A separate authorisation from HMRC will be required.

A guarantee is currently required by HMRC to support some CSP authorisations. From 1 January 2021, in most cases (there are exceptions) guarantees will not be required as a prerequisite to obtaining an authorisation. HMRC have indicated that they will give 12 months’ notice before reintroducing the requirement for guarantees.

As businesses take steps to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period, some of the potential CSP changes will assist to ease the adjustment from intra-EU trade to international trade.

Please note: Final arrangements for 1 January 2021 have yet to be confirmed and this update may be subject to change by HMRC.

If you would like more information about customs special procedures including the benefits of using them, please contact Lucy Sutcliffe, National Customs Duty Director.


The information in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice. This is based on our understanding on 9 April 2020. Laws and tax rules may change in the future.