End-use relief - military equipment

By Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • End-use relief - military equipment
  • Military equipment
  • Transfers

Please note that the procedure outlined below ceased to be applicable when the Union Customs Code was introduced on the 1 May 2016. Please see the Union Customs Code - End-Use Relief and other guidance notes in the Union Customs Code subtopic for more information on the current rules.

2454/93/EEC , Annex 67 and Articles 291–300; 1602/2000/EC , Article 1(7); 444/2002/EC ; 2286/2003/EC ; Notice 770 Imported goods: end-use relief (LNB News 27/04/2009 94); De Voil Indirect Tax Service V17.152 (subscription sensitive)

This guidance note provides an overview of the end-use treatment of military equipment and shipwork. This note should be read in conjunction with the following guidance notes:

  • End-Use relief - Applying for authorisation
  • End-use - importing goods
  • End-use relief - transferring and disposing of goods
  • End-use relief - aircraft and aircraft parts
  • End-use relief - goods for shipwork and the continental shelf
Military equipment

Import duties can be suspended on the importation of certain weapons and military equipment. Full details can be found in 150/2003/EC . The equipment must be used by, or on behalf of, an EU military force in order to defend the territorial integrity of that EU country, for participating in international peacekeeping or to support operations / other military purposes of that EU military force.


The following conditions must be satisfied:

  • the goods must be imported for use by, or on behalf of, an EU country military force
  • the importer must have a valid end-use authorisation that covers the importation of military equipment
  • the importer must hold a certificate issued by the appropriate authority (eg the MOD). If

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