Inward Processing

Conditions and requirements when applying for Inward Processing

When applying for Inward Processing (IP) authorisation, you need first to consider a number of key factors that are mentioned below.

Throughput period

This is the period you'll require to process the goods being entered in IP - from the date you import or receive them to the date you export or otherwise dispose of them. In general, this period shouldn't exceed one year, although there are exceptions, eg for the aircraft industry.

If you're using the simplified authorisation method, there's a standard throughput period of six months. If you know you'll need a longer period, inform the National Import Relief Unit (NIRU) in writing at the time of your import declaration at:

National Import Relief Unit
HM Revenue & Customs
Abbey House
Head Street
County Fermanagh
Northern Ireland
BT74 7LH

You can call NIRU on Tel 028 6632 2298. Alternatively you can contact NIRU via email at

Compensating products

These are all the products resulting from the processing operations you carry out under IP. When you apply for your authorisation, you must identify all the compensating products you'll obtain following processing. You must distinguish between your main compensating products (MCPs) and secondary compensatory products (SCPs). All products that are a necessary by-product of making your MCPs count as SCPs - they can't be treated as waste or scrap.

Rate of yield

This is a measure of how many IP imports you require to produce your processed products - ie your compensating products. You must specify your rate of yield in your application. If your application covers more than one processing operation, then you must include a rate of yield for each operation covered.

In some cases, the rate of yield may be 1:1. For instance, if the processing being carried out is repair work, then you'll export or dispose of the same number of goods as you import or receive.

European Union (EU)-wide rules set down standardised rates of yield for certain processing operations on agricultural goods.

The economic test

The economic test applies to specific goods. To get IP authorisation on these goods, you’ll need to provide evidence to show why you cannot use EU-produced goods instead. The full list of goods is in Annex 71-02 of the Commission Delegated Regulation 2015/2446.

Record keeping

You must keep records relating to all goods that you enter into IP. These must be kept for four years after the goods' export or disposal.

As well as detailing the nature and quantity of the goods, your records must show:

  • when and where they were entered into IP
  • where all IP goods and compensating products are held at any given time
  • when and where the goods were re-exported or otherwise disposed of
  • what processing is carried out on the goods and where processing takes place
  • how the IP goods can be identified in your compensating products
  • production data showing your rate of yield