You need to be authorised by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to import or receive end-use goods. Authorisations are issued to the person importing or having the goods imported.
There are five types of authorisation for which you can apply.
End-use authorisation within the UK
You will need to have end-use authorisation if you import or process, or intend to import or process, end-use goods on a regular basis using form SP1. This type of authorisation can cover processing on your behalf by other companies as long as all operations are solely in the UK.
Application must be made prior to import, naming in Box 1b of the application form the other parties who will import or process goods under your authorisation. As the authorisation holder you'll be responsible for duty and associated charges for all goods entered to the authorisation including those imported by named processors on your behalf.
Once you have completed the form contact the HMRC VAT Helpline for information on where to send it. If it's approved, you'll receive an end-use authorisation number and letter. Find form SP1 (application for end-use relief).
Simplified authorisation for end use
You should make this type of application if you intend to import goods on a one-off basis or up to three times in a calendar year for simple operations within the UK. Note that you cannot use simplified declaration procedures - eg Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) in association with simplified end-use.
The simplified end-use application is now made within the C 88 (SAD) form C 100 no longer applies. When you complete the C 88 form, you will need to complete the relevant Statement Identifier Codes in Box 44.
Single Community authorisation for end use
If the processing or movement of your goods takes place in more than one member state you'll need to apply for a Single Community authorisation. You should use the model form (Annex 67) in Commission Regulation 2454/93, which can be obtained from the National Advice Service.
Integrated authorisation for end use
You'll need this type of authorisation if you use other Customs procedures in addition to end use relief, such as Inward Processing (IP) or Customs Warehousing. Use form C 1317 if end use is the dominant procedure, otherwise add end-use details to the form used for the other procedure. Make sure you supply your authorisation number with the prefix "EU". You can also read more about inward processing and customs warehousing.
If you're importing goods using Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP), you can apply for all of the above authorisations with the exception of the simplified authorisation.
Retrospective authorisation for end-use
In exceptional circumstances you can apply for retrospective authorisation, using form C 1317. You'll need to demonstrate a strong economic case if you do. As a general rule you should always claim any form of duty relief on import.