Permanent importation of goods for examination, analysis or test purposes

You can import goods for examination, analysis or test purposes from outside the European Union (EU) without payment of Customs Duty and Value-Added Tax.

The examination, analysis or tests must be:

  • to determine the composition quality or other technical characteristics of the goods
  • and
  • for the purpose of information or research.

What rules apply to the relief?

  • The goods must be completely used up or destroyed during the examination, analysis or testing. Where they are not, Revenue can agree under their supervision that the goods remaining are:
    • completely destroyed or rendered valueless
    • surrendered to the State without any expense incurred, where this is possible
    • in certain circumstances, exported outside the EU. 
  • You must pay Customs Duty and VAT on any products remaining on the date of completion of the examination, analysis or tests. You may apply to your Revenue office for permission to convert any remaining products to waste or scrap. Revenue may agree to charge Customs Duty and VAT at the rate that applies to the waste or scrap on the date of conversion.

How to apply for relief

You should apply for approval to the Authorisation and Reliefs Unit before you import your goods. In your application you should:

  • describe the goods you wish to import
  • and
  • outline the types of tests, examinations and analyses you are planning. 

Authorisation and Reliefs Unit will arrange a meeting with your Revenue office. At this meeting we will discuss:

  • the types of records you will have to keep
  • and
  • the period within which the examinations, analyses or tests must be carried out based on the type of goods involved.

If Revenue is satisfied that your application is in order, we will send you a letter of authorisation containing a unique reference number.

Procedure at importation

You should attach your authorisation letter to the outside of your parcel and marked it ‘customs documents’.

If you import your goods by post, the declaration (CN22 or CN23) on the parcel should state the following:

'Goods for examination, analysis or test purposes: exemption from import charges claimed'.

If you import your goods other than by post, for example, by courier, you should:

  • complete an electronic customs declaration
  • enter code C33 in box 37b and code 1D09 in box 44/1 of the declaration
  • and
  • enter the authorisation number from your letter of authorisation in box 44/2.

Further information

If you require further information, contact the Authorisations and Reliefs Unit.