Permanent importation of samples

You can import samples of goods for trade promotion purposes from outside the European Union (EU) without payment of Customs Duty and Value-Added Tax (VAT). To get this relief your goods must:

  • only be used as samples
  • be of negligible value
  • be used to obtain orders for the type of goods they represent.

Revenue may request that the samples are rendered permanently unusable. The samples may be torn, perforated or indelibly marked.

Procedure at importation

You will need a letter from the supplier confirming that your goods are only to be used as samples to seek orders for the type of goods they represent. You should  attach this to the outside of the parcel and mark it ‘customs documents’.

If you import your goods by post, the declaration (CN22 or CN23) on the parcel should state the following:
‘Samples for trade promotion purposes: exemption from import charges claimed’.

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

Further information

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