Temporary admission for goods and custom duties

Temporary admission is a customs procedure enabling that non-community goods that are imported only for a certain period of time can be imported into the European Union temporarily, they can be used and exported again in an unchanged condition. During the temporary admission these goods are free from or partly exempted from import duties.

A few points have to be observed however:

  • Apart from repair work and maintenance work the goods may not be processed or treated. What is especially reflected by the procedure of temporary admission is the idea that goods only have to be declared when they are entering the economic circuit of the EU.
  • A temporary admission is only allowed for a period of time up to 24 months. In special cases longer periods are possible.

However, depending on the period of time, the use of the goods and the type of goods import duties have to be paid nevertheless. Duty has to be paid on the use of construction machinery, for instance, because this kind of machinery is part of the economic circuit and is competing with national machinery. But the duty would amount only to 3% per month of the normal duties to be paid.

Import duties fully paid in spite of temporary admission

To prevent distortions of competition by abuse of this procedure, the goods under temporary admission are subject to severe customs supervision. The German customs authorities are not the only authorites who are keen on finding any errors and imposing subsequent payments of the taxes. For written declarations in this regard the authorities demand a security in the amount of the normal import duties. Should the goods be withdrawn from the customs supervision or should the goods be changed in some way, this means that duties are owed and that the import duties will be charged.

In case the goods are under temporary admission and the main customs office is nevertheless charging you for import duties, it has to be verified exactly whether this is legitimate. Often, when a customs debt arises, more than one party is participated and these parties are liable jointly and severally. Holding liable one of them as person/party responsible for the payment of the customs duties is within the discretion of the customs authorities after due assessment of the circumstances.

An adverse decision of the customs authorities can be contested by raising an objection. Our German lawyers, specialized in customs law, will be pleased to be of assistance.