Customs declaration for item repair

17/02/2018 15:11:00
I have recently returned to UK after working abroad and intend to start work in UK at the beginning of April, to coincide with the new tax year. I am now a watchmaker and service/restore vintage watches. My customers will send me a watch to be repaired and they can be abroad.

I understand that if they are in the EU, the system will be very simple. It matters not what is declared to Customs for the value (and the shipment insurance) as all is within the common trading area and duty will never need to be paid.

I also have potential customers in countries outside of the EU. Obviously, if they send me a watch with a value of £1000 and insure it appropriately, everything will indicate to customs that I am importing a £1000 watch and they will try to charge me import duty on that amount. However, this is not the case as I will repair the watch and return it so import duty should never be due in UK and in their country, it should only be paid on my charges.

I would like to know how to resolve this with customs as there must be some form of wording or exemption that covers issues such as this.

Thank you.

Re:Customs declaration for item repair

19/02/2018 09:12:32
Good Morning Nichmoss
Thank you for your enquiry. I have referred this for technical advice. I will come back to you.
Kind regards

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 19/02/2018 14:56:24


Re:Customs declaration for item repair

19/02/2018 12:06:47

There is a special procedure called Inward Processing which gives relief on import charges for goods being imported for process or repair. The importer (recipient in the UK) will need to apply for authorisation in order to claim this relief.

Guidance on IP can be found on the following pages of gov.uk:



Notice 3001 covers numerous special procedures you should read this as well as Annex D of the notice, which is specific to inward and outward processing.

Kind regards

Re:Customs declaration for item repair

20/02/2018 14:07:49
Thank you, I shall work through that information.

Best regards, Chris