Inward processing

What is inward processing ?

is a special regime in force within the European Union (EU). It aims to promote the activity of Community businesses that transform or repair goods produced outside the EU. This is the opposite regime to .

The characteristics of inward processing

The regime concerns the import of goods from outside the European Union, and their transformation, work or repair before they are re-exported or released for consumption.

For companies located within the EU, there are financial and economic benefits. For the European Union:

  • granting relevant companies a cash-flow advantage allowing them to transform/repair non-Union goods which will be returned to Union territory with the suspension of fees and taxes ;
  • promoting their export capacity by suspending fees and taxes and allowing them to improve their competitiveness during re-exporting.

Examples and application

To benefit from the regime, an application must be made to the competent authorities.

Conditions for obtaining access to the inward processing regime

The party applying for authorisation must:

  • be based in the European Union ;
  • guarantee the smooth running of operations.

How to file an authorisation application

From 1 May 2016, any application must be made via teleprocedure using the SOPRANO-REC platform. The authorities have 30 working days to assess the admissibility of the application from the date of filing in the SOPRANO-REC system.

The authorisation is valid for 5 years from its issue date. However, under certain conditions, it may be cancelled, withdrawn or suspended, either temporarily or definitively. At the end of the validity period, the authorisation must be renewed.

How the inward processing regime works

After issue of the authorisation, goods imported by the recipient company may be placed under the regime. For this placement, a standard procedure or a simplified procedure may be used.

In case of triangular trade, when compensating products are re-imported by a different office to the one handling the export, information is shared between offices using an information bulletin. The creation of an information bulletin takes place using the European INF STP portal.

Clearance of the inward processing regime

Goods placed under the regime are not immediately subject to import fees. Any excise duty is suspended and no VAT is applied at this stage.

Clearance of the regime may take place:

  • when the transformed products are placed under a new regime, that is to say re-exporting, placement under another specific regime (warehouse, notably external transit regime) or the release for free circulation of the goods (in an unaltered state or transformed) ;
  • if they are destroyed without any waste. If waste appears following the destruction of the goods, they must be assigned a destination ;
  • if goods are abandoned.

Inward processing in figures

Regulatory framework

Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 October 2013 laying down the Union Code and notably its articles 5, 6, 22-32, 86, 210-225, 255-258 (UCC)

DA 16-021 - Circular on (Official Bulletin No 7115 of 02/05/2016):