Union Customs Code – Customs Special Procedures – discharge and customs debt

By Tolley

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

  • Union Customs Code – Customs Special Procedures – discharge and customs debt
  • Discharge
  • Using customs declarations to enter and discharge customs special procedures
  • Import / exports via the post
  • Customs export procedure
  • Customs debt

This guidance note provides an overview of HMRC’s interpretation of the UCC with regard to discharging goods held under a customs special procedure and customs debts. This guidance note should be read in conjunction with the Union Customs Code – Customs Special Procedures – authorisation and Union Customs Code – Customs Special Procedures – economic test guidance notes and other guidance notes in the Union Customs Code subtopic.

More information on the UCC can also be found on the European Commission website using the following link Union Customs Code .

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

Specific information on customs special procedures can be found via the following link Special Procedures .


With the exception of releasing goods from EnU to free circulation (and in cases other than the transit procedure), a special procedure will be deemed to have been discharged when the goods are placed under another customs procedure, removed from the EU customs territory, been completely destroyed with no waste or abandoned to the State. The discharge procedure must be completed within certain time limits unless exceptions apply.

HMRC Customs Notice 3001 ; UCC , Art 215; Commission Implementing Regulation (EC) 2015/2447 , Art 264; Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446 (DA) ; Art 174

The transit procedure shall be discharged by the customs authorities when they are able to establish, through data available at the office of departure and office of destination, that the procedure has ended correctly.

TA goods cannot be destroyed on a routine basis.

Aggregated discharge entries are not permitted other than within the scope of a simplified declaration authorisation.

It is possible for the period of discharge to be extended, at the request of the holder of the procedure, even if the period of discharge that was specified in the authorisation

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