Outward processing relief (OPR)

How to re-import OPR products

The Outward Processing Relief (OPR) process has two distinct components. Once your goods have been exported for process and have under gone process or repair they can then be re-imported to free circulation. The process or repair must have taken place otherwise the goods will be re-imported to a different procedure - returned goods relief. It's important to handle the re-import process as accurately as the export process to maintain your business' efficiency.

Re-importing goods after process or repair

All of the consignments that you re-import under your OPR authorisation must be accounted for using the Single Administrative Document SAD (C 88) form. This should contain all the Commodity Codes for which you hold an authorisation under OPR to re-import. Each code has a rate of duty allocated to it. These are contained in Volume 2 of the Tariff. As with the SAD used at export, boxes 31, 37 and 44 must be filled out correctly. Find out how to export OPR goods.

Access the UK Trade Tariff.

If you have not previously had to classify your goods, read more about classification rules and the Tariff. If you have difficulty classifying your goods, call the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Tariff Classification Service helpline. Any restrictions or licences are also listed against each code in the Tariff.

It's also possible to use the electronic Binding Tariff Information (eBTI) system to request a Tariff classification.

In addition to the correct Commodity Codes, the documentation connected to your re-imported goods must also contain additional information, including the following:

  • The customs procedure codes (CPCs) appropriate to OPR re-imports are listed at section 17 of Notice 235 and you can find complete details in the Tariff, Volume 3, Appendix E2. If you don't use the correct CPC, you may delay the clearance of your goods and also have to pay duty.
  • If you hold a UK authorisation or a single 'Community' authorisation issued in the UK, you must enter the authorisation number in box 44. Re-imports using the simplified authorisation for repairs should show OP/9999/999/99 together with the Declaration Unique Consignment Reference number relating to the export declaration.

In addition to the above information, if you're also using the Customs Freight Simplified Procedure you must adhere to special arrangements. See Customs Freight Simplified Procedures.

Other re-import documents

You must present sufficient documentation to prove that the goods you're importing were initially exported under OPR. This information is used by customs to calculate duty and rate of yield. The following documents may be used to present sufficient evidence:

  • A copy of the export declaration and/or a copy of the departure message
    This proves your goods were exported under OPR arrangements.
  • Form C&E 1154
    All your OPR shipments must be accompanied by this form as it shows the exact status of your re-imported goods.
  • Split Consignments and Triangulation Information Sheet INF 2 C&E 1155
    If you're using triangulation with your OPR shipments, these forms enable you to use two different customs offices and also have split consignments.
  • Guarantee or warranty
    If your re-imported goods are the result of goods you exported for repair and have had their repairs carried out free of charge, you can use this form to indicate this when your goods re-enter the UK.
  • Other supporting documents
    You must also produce any other documents necessary to support your claim to relief, eg invoices for processing costs, freight and insurance charges. Full details of the documents needed to support the import SAD are given in the Tariff, Volume 3, Part 3.

Preferences for OPR

If the goods you're re-importing under your OPR authorisation also have a preferential rate of duty attached to them, you may be able to claim this reduction in duty. You can claim the preferential rate of duty if you have valid certificates of preference for each of the goods you're importing.

Read Notice 826 about Tariff preferences imports.

Read Notice 830 on the new GSP rules of origin.

End use and OPR

You may in some circumstances export for processing under your OPR authorisation, goods that have previously been imported to the European Community under end-use arrangements. Duty on some goods you re-import for free circulation may qualify for a discount on the duty you would have to pay. You must have prior authorisation to take advantage of any end-use relief that may be available. You can read more about imported goods and end-use relief in Notice 3001: special procedures for the Union Customs Code.