Outward processing relief (OPR)

Types of Outward Processing Relief authorisation

It’s important to apply for the correct authorisation for the goods you intend to export and the process or repair you wish to use to avoid paying unnecessary customs duty.

Types of OPR authorisation

There are several types of OPR authorisation.

Authorisation by Declaration (repairs only)
You can use this if you only send goods outside the EU for repair and only occasionally need to use OPR.

You must apply using SAD form C88.

Full UK authorisation
This type of authorisation is the one most commercial businesses with operations in the UK will need to obtain. If you’re exporting goods for any kind of process or repair for the UK only this is the type of authorisation needed.

You’ll need to apply on form SP4.

Multi State Authorisations
Multi State Authorisations are authorisations that are valid in more than one member state. They can apply to:

  • Temporary Admission
  • End Use
  • Inward Processing
  • Outward Processing
  • Customs warehousing

Economic Operators must use a European Union Gateway website to access the EU Central Service site to request an authorisation.

Email: to get access to the website, include your:

  • name
  • contact email address
  • Economic Operator Registration and Identification scheme (EORI) number

HMRC will email you within 5 days to confirm you’ve been set up to access the European Union Gateway website, and give you the link to access it.

Standard Exchange System (SES)
Use SES to import temporary replacements for goods you may need to export for repair. This is called ‘prior importation’. For example, you need machinery for a short period while your own goods are repaired and returned to you.

If you want to use SES with prior importation, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will ask you to provide a guarantee to cover the potential duties due on the goods you import.

You need to apply using form SP4 before you import your replacement goods.

Non-commercial authorisation
This relates to personal property sent outside the EU for repair. You can only use this type of authorisation when the goods have no commercial purpose. You must apply using the SAD form C88.

Find information on completing SAD Form C88.