Outward processing relief (OPR)

How to export OPR goods

To operate your Outward Processing Relief (OPR) arrangement efficiently it's important to be aware that OPR doesn't exist in isolation, but impacts on a number of other processes.

Declaring goods

Goods need to be declared by exporters as OPR when lodging an export declaration.

As your business goods move in and out of the UK they're logged using two systems. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) uses National Export Procedures to lodge electronic declarations with the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. Find out more about theĀ UK's import and export processing system CHIEF.

Using the Single Administrative Document (SAD) C88 declaration for export

The SAD is used to declare all OPR exports prior to processing. The SAD should list Commodity Codes that identify the goods to be exported. Commodity Codes are contained in Volume 2 of the Tariff. If you have difficulty classifying your goods, call the Tariff Classification Service helpline on Tel 0300 200 3700. It's also possible to use the eBTI (electronic Binding Tariff Information) system to request a Tariff classification.

Your SAD form must contain specific information, including the following:

  • Box 31 should contain clear indicating marks that identify your goods. If not, this could lead to your goods not being allowed re-entry into the UK under OPR. This information is very important if you're using the simplified OPR system.
  • In box 37 for normal Community goods, quote the correct Customs Procedure Code. You can find full details in the Tariff, Volume 3, Appendix E1.
  • Quote your OPR authorisation number in box 44. If you're also using Inward Processing, this number must also be entered.

Presenting evidence of export for OPR goods

It's important to track the progress of your goods as they move in and out of the European Union. When your goods first leave the UK, ensure you have evidence that clearly shows the Declaration Unique Consignment Reference (DUCR) number to prove the goods were declared to OPR when they were exported. The DUCR is generated by HMRC's CHIEF and National Export System systems after they have processed the export declaration. Any consignments that you intend to re-import but that will be in the form of split consignment must be accompanied by form INF 2.

If you wish to use commercial documents as your proof of export you must apply to your customs office and request this simplification, entering the details in box 14 of form C&E 1153.

To use this simplification a number of conditions apply:

  • you must have prior approval
  • the operations must be in a single member state or if more than one member state is involved it must be approved by all member states
  • the commercial document must identify the goods as OPR and be endorsed 'simplified export' along with your authorisation number and export CPC
  • the commercial document must indicate how the exported goods will be identified in the imported compensating products
  • you must not be using the simplified repair procedure if you use this simplification

Where to present evidence supporting your OPR shipments

How you present the evidence you're using to support your OPR shipments will depend on where you'll be entering your goods in the UK when you re-import them.

  • If you enter the OPR procedure inland
    When using Simplified Declaration Procedure (SDP) or Local Clearance Procedure, ensure that you retain your pre-shipment advice and your permission to proceed message that was sent to you. These documents should clearly show your DUCR number.
  • If you enter the OPR procedure at the frontier
    When using either full declaration or SDP you or your agent should always retain a copy of the export entry and departure messages clearly showing the DUCR number.

OPR exports by post

The OPR system can also be used with the postal system. You should complete the standard SAD (C 88) form and take this along with the goods you want to export to your customs office, which may inspect the goods. You can locate your local office by calling the HMRC Excise & Customs Helpline on Tel 0300 200 3700.

For all postal exports you must complete form C&E 132 (Certificate of Overseas Posting). Once you have taken your consignment to a post office, the certified form must then be returned to the customs office together with copy 2 of your SAD form. C&E 132 will be returned to you when your goods are re-imported. You'll still have to apply for prior authorisation to use the postal system with OPR. Find outĀ how to apply for OPR authorisation.