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
  • and
  • 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.

The sender of the goods should:

  • attach the letter mentioned above to the outside of the parcel and mark it ‘customs documents’.
  • provide information about the goods to the postal service or courier that is handling the parcel. This information about the goods should include the following:
    • an accurate description
    • a commodity code
    • and
    • the value.
  • and
  • mark the parcel ‘Samples for trade promotion purposes: exemption from import charges claimed’.

The courier or postal service handling the package can use this information to complete an electronic customs declaration by using Revenue's Automated Import System (AIS).

On this customs declaration they should:

  • declare the goods as samples for trade promotion purposes
  • and
  • enter code C30 in D/E 1/11.

Further information

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