Outward processing relief (OPR)

How to obtain Outward Processing Relief authorisation

If you intend to apply for an Outward Processing (OPR) authorisation, you can choose from several types. It's important to apply for the correct authorisation - applying to the goods you intend to export and the process or repair you wish to use - to avoid paying unnecessary customs duty.

Types of authorisation for business purposes

  • Simplified authorisation (repairs only) (Form C88 (SAD))
    You can use this if you only send goods outside the European Union (EU) and Turkey for repair and only occasionally need to use OPR. You must apply using Form C88.
  • Full UK authorisation (Form C&E 1153)
    This is the type of authorisation that 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 then this is the type of authorisation required. You'll need to apply on form C&E 1153.
  • Single or 'Community' authorisation
    If you need to export or re-import your goods in more than one member state including the UK you can use this type of authorisation to cover all your exports and re-imports. Application is normally made in the member state where your main accounts are held and where at least part of the temporary export operations will be carried out. You should make your application at least two months before your first consignment of goods reaches its destination.
  • Specific authorisation (Form C&E 1153)
    In some circumstances the exporter of goods for process isn't the person arranging for the process to be carried out. For example, if you arrange for the export of car parts to be fitted to vehicles in a non-EU country that various main dealers would re-import, you can apply for specific authorisation. This authorisation will enable the importers of the vehicles to claim duty relief on the EU manufactured parts.
  • Integrated authorisation (Form C&E 1153 and Form C&E 810)
    If your business will be using Inward Processing (IP) as well as OPR, you can apply for an integrated authorisation. If you'll mostly be using OPR, use form C&E 1153. If your main activity will be with IP, use form C&E 810. You can integrate other customs procedures authorisations with OPR.
  • Standard Exchange System (SES) (Form C&E 1153)
    You can use SES to import temporary replacements for goods that you may need to export for repair. This is called 'prior importation'. If you want to use SES with prior importation, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will ask you to provide security to cover the potential duties due on the goods you import. This may be useful if you need machinery for a short period while your own goods are repaired and returned to you. Note that you should apply, using form C&E 1153, before you import your replacement consignments.
  • Non-commercial authorisation (SAD Form C88)
    This relates to you or your family's personal property that has been sent outside the EU and Turkey for repair. You can only use this type of authorisation when the consignment has no commercial purpose and you must apply using the Single Administrative Document (SAD), Form C88.

Find information on completing SAD Form C88.