Union Customs Code ― approved depositories

By Tolley

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

  • Union Customs Code ― approved depositories
  • What is an approved depository?
  • Obtaining authorisation
  • Prohibited or restricted goods
  • Amending, transferring, cancelling an authorisation
  • Records
  • Responsibilities of the operator
  • Presenting, moving and releasing goods
  • Time limits
  • Penalties

This guidance note provides an overview of the procedure of bringing non-EU goods into the EU and storing them in an approved depository until they are assigned to a customs approved procedure.

This note should be read in conjunction with the Union Customs Code ― Temporary Storage guidance note.

Also see Notice 216: customs procedures at cargo community system-UK locations .

What is an approved depository?

The formal description of an approved depository is an External Temporary Storage Facility (Approved Depository) ― ETSF (AD).

Notice 199B ; TSAD14000; Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 ; EU Delegated Regulation 2446/2015 ; EU Delegated Regulation 2447/2015 ; Customs Traders (Accounts and Records) Regulations 1995 (Statutory Instrument 1995/1203) ; The Finance Act 1994, ss 21–27 (both subscription sensitive)

An ETSF (AD) works in the same way as other temporary storage (TS) facilities and operators are required to meet the same rules and regulations. However, an ETSF (AD) is only to be used for the storage of unaccompanied personal and / or household effects. Other types of TS facilities can be used to store commercial non-EU goods as well as personal / household effects.

It is important to note that it is not possible to obtain relief from customs duty / import VAT on any personal items that are less than six months old and / or have not been in the owner’s possession and used for at least six months prior to being imported into the UK.

Further information on bringing personal possessions into the UK can be found in Notice 3: bringing your personal belongings, pets and private means of transport from outside the EU whilst visiting the UK .

Obtaining authorisation

The following UK established businesses are entitled to apply for approval to operate an ETSF (AD):

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