Union Customs Code ― Customs Special Procedures ― equivalence

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

  • Union Customs Code ― Customs Special Procedures ― equivalence
  • What is equivalence
  • Obtaining authorisation to use equivalence
  • Formalities
  • Inward Processing

This guidance note provides an overview of HMRC’s view of how equivalence works in connection with the UCC special customs procedures.

Please see the Union Customs Code ― Customs Special Procedures ― authorisation and the other guidance notes in this subtopic for an overview of the changes that are being introduced.

This guidance note should be read in conjunction with HMRC Notice 3001  which provides more information and a number of examples of how the new procedures should operate.

More information on the UCC can also be found on the European Commission website via the following link UCC ― guidance documents .

The following link can be used to access HMRC’s import and export manuals HMRC import / export manuals .

What is equivalence

Equivalence enables the authorisation holder to use identical Union goods (eg those in free circulation goods and sometimes called EU goods) in place of the goods that are authorised to enter to special procedures eg to IP for processing and export, CW, EnU or TA. Equivalence cannot be used to offset exports of Union goods in order to reduce the amount of import duties / taxes in respect of non-EU imports that will be used in the EU.

UCC , Art 223; Commission Implementing Regulation (EC) 2015/2447 ; Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446 (DA) 

Equivalent goods consist of EU goods, which are used, stored or processed instead of the goods placed under a special procedure. Under OP, equivalent goods consist of non-EU goods, which are processed instead of EU goods placed under the OP procedure.

Normally, equivalent goods must have the same eight digit CN code, the same commercial quality and the same technical characteristics as the goods they are replacing, unless the local customs authority allows otherwise.

Use of equivalence

According to HMRC guidance, businesses may be authorised to use

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