IPR - returns, claims and miscellaneous aspects

By Tolley

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

  • IPR - returns, claims and miscellaneous aspects
  • Suspension returns
  • Drawback - reclaiming import duties
  • Simplified returns / claims
  • Compensatory interest
  • Economic codes
  • Miscellaneous aspects
  • Usual forms of handling
  • Customs debt
  • Appeals

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 - Customs Special Procedures - authorisation and other guidance notes in the Union Customs Code subtopic for more information on the current rules.

Notice 221 Inward Processing (LNB News 16/10/2007 74)

This guidance note provides an overview of the returns that need to be submitted and how businesses that use drawback can obtain a refund of the duty paid from HMRC. This note should be read in conjunction with the following guidance notes:

  • Inward Processing Relief (IPR) overview
  • Entering goods under IPR
  • IPR - transferring and disposing of goods
Suspension returns

Businesses (except those using a simplified authorisation) are required to complete a suspension return (C&E 812) (also called a ‘bill of discharge’) and send it to its supervising office detailing the disposal of goods that it has entered into the UK under IPR. The authorisation letter that was issued to the business will provide details regarding where the form should be sent. A nil return must be submitted even if the business has not disposed of any goods during the period covered by the return.


Duty, import VAT and compensatory interest will need to be paid if the business fails to prepare and submit the suspension return and the business must ensure that it submits these returns by the due date. The ECJ case of Döhler Neuenkirchen (C-262/10)  confirmed that where the return / bill of discharge is not sent by the due date then a Customs debt is incurred. Duty will become due (along with import VAT and compensatory interest) on items that should have been

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