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  • Kumar Shivam

UK-EU Customs: Understanding Special Procedures for Enhanced Trade Efficiency (Part 1)

Updated: Apr 19

Welcome to the first installment of our blog series, "UK-EU Special Customs Procedures." This series aims to equip businesses with the necessary knowledge and strategies to tackle the complexities of customs operations post-Brexit. Today, we will explore the key challenges businesses face in UK-EU trade and introduce how mastering special customs procedures can offer substantial benefits.

The Landscape of UK-EU Trade Post-Brexit

Since the UK's departure from the EU, companies involved in cross-border trade have faced increased operational hurdles. The introduction of new customs regulations and procedures has necessitated a deeper understanding and adaptation to maintain efficiency and profitability. Here are some of the primary challenges traders currently face:

Increased Administrative Burden

Businesses must now navigate a maze of customs declarations and compliance checks that can be time-consuming and costly, potentially leading to delays and increased operational costs.

Supply Chain Delays

Customs delays are more common, with goods held up at borders due to incomplete paperwork or compliance checks, directly impacting the supply chain and delivery schedules.

Financial Strain

The additional cost of tariffs and the need for specialized customs brokerage services can squeeze the financial resources of any business, especially small and medium enterprises.

The Power of Customs Special Procedures

To mitigate these challenges, utilizing UK-EU customs special procedures can be incredibly beneficial. These procedures allow businesses to manage tariffs and taxes more effectively and streamline operations. Our upcoming webinar will cover several of these procedures in depth:

  • Bonded Warehousing: Store goods without paying duties and taxes until they are removed from the warehouse, significantly aiding cash flow management.

  • Inward Processing (IP) and Outward Processing (OP): Allow for the suspension of duties while goods are being processed or repaired, which is particularly beneficial for companies that import raw materials to manufacture goods for export.

  • Temporary Admission (TA): Ideal for goods that need to be brought into the territory temporarily. It facilitates duty-free and tax-free importation for certain goods such as those used in exhibitions or as professional equipment.


Upcoming Webinar: Unlocking Warehousing, Processing and Admission in UK-EU Customs

To provide a comprehensive understanding of these key procedures, we are hosting a webinar titled "Unlocking Warehousing, Processing and Admission in UK-EU Customs" from the webinar series "UK-EU Special Customs Procedures."

Scheduled for May 1st, this session will delve into practical applications of each procedure and how they can benefit your business operations.

Registration: Join us by registering here and prepare to transform the way you handle customs, enhancing both efficiency and profitability.

Who Should Attend?

This webinar is designed for:

  • Business Owners and Entrepreneurs: Particularly those dealing with imports and exports between the UK and EU.

  • Import/Export Managers: Professionals overseeing the logistics and regulatory aspects of international trade.

  • Supply Chain and Logistics Professionals: Individuals aiming to optimize logistical operations through better customs management.

  • Compliance Officers and Regulatory Affairs Managers: Experts focused on adhering to trade laws and regulations.

  • Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers: Those who assist businesses in navigating complex customs landscapes.


FAQs on UK-EU Customs Special Procedures and Solutions

Q1: What are UK-EU customs special procedures?

A: Customs special procedures are rules established by customs authorities to help businesses manage imports and exports more effectively. They provide mechanisms for deferring duties, taxes, or streamlining processes for certain types of imports or exports. Key procedures include Bonded Warehousing, Inward Processing (IP), Outward Processing (OP), and Temporary Admission (TA).

Q2: How can Bonded Warehousing help my business?

A: Bonded Warehousing allows your business to store goods in a warehouse without paying duties and VAT until the goods are removed or sold. This is particularly beneficial for managing cash flows, as payment is deferred, and for storing goods longer without incurring immediate tax liabilities.

Q3: What are Inward and Outward Processing?

A: Inward Processing (IP) allows you to import goods without paying duties and VAT if those goods are intended to be processed and then re-exported. Outward Processing (OP) permits you to temporarily export goods from the EU for processing abroad and then re-import them with partial or full relief from import duties. Both procedures can significantly reduce the cost burden on companies that import raw materials for manufacturing or send goods abroad for processing.

Q4: What is Temporary Admission, and when is it used?

A: Temporary Admission (TA) is a procedure used to import goods duty-free and tax-free for a specific purpose, such as exhibitions, professional use, or tests, provided they will be re-exported within a specific period without being altered. This is ideal for businesses that need to bring in equipment or samples for short periods.

Q5: Can all businesses use these special procedures?

A: While most businesses engaged in international trade can apply for these procedures, approval from customs authorities is required. Each procedure has specific criteria and conditions that must be met. Businesses often need to demonstrate robust tracking and management systems to qualify for these schemes.

Q6: What is the difference between Free Circulation and these special procedures?

A: Free Circulation refers to goods that have been imported into the EU and for which all import formalities have been completed, and duties and taxes paid. These goods can then move freely within the EU. In contrast, special procedures are used to suspend or defer duties and taxes under specific conditions, helping businesses manage costs and logistics more effectively.

Q7: How can I apply for these special customs procedures?

A: Application procedures vary by country within the EU. Generally, businesses must apply through their national customs authority, providing detailed information about their operations, the nature of the goods imported or exported, and how the goods are processed or stored. It often requires thorough documentation and a demonstration of compliance with customs regulations.

Q8: Are there any risks involved in using these special procedures?

A: While these procedures offer significant benefits, they also come with compliance responsibilities. There is a risk of penalties or additional charges if the conditions of the procedures are not met or if proper documentation is not maintained. Businesses should ensure they have robust systems to track and manage goods under these procedures.

Q9: How can I learn more about implementing these procedures in my business operations?

A: Attending webinars and training sessions, like our upcoming webinar on May 1st, is an excellent way to gain deeper insights and practical guidance from experts. Additionally, consulting with customs brokers or freight forwarders who specialize in customs clearance can provide tailored advice and support.

Q10: What are the benefits of attending the upcoming webinar on UK-EU customs procedures?

A: The webinar will provide detailed explanations of each special procedure, real-world case studies illustrating their application, and expert advice on navigating the complexities of customs regulations. This is an invaluable resource for any business looking to improve efficiency and reduce costs in their trading operations.



Embracing UK-EU customs special procedures can significantly mitigate the post-Brexit trade challenges faced by businesses. Our upcoming webinar is a crucial step in demystifying these procedures, aimed at helping you streamline your operations and reduce costs. Stay tuned for more insights in this blog series, and be sure to register for the webinar to take full advantage of expert guidance and real-world applications.


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