Temporary use under customs law

Temporary importation is a customs procedure under which non-Community goods not imported permanently are temporarily imported into the European Union, used and re-exported without further processing under total or partial relief from import duties .

There are numerous points to consider:

  • With the exception of repair and maintenance work, the goods may not be worked on or processed. This procedure reflects particularly well the idea of economic customs, according to which goods should only be cleared if they are integrated into the economic cycle of the EU.
  • As a rule, a temporary importation procedure may not last longer than 24 months. In special cases, however, a time extension is possible.

Depending on the duration, use and nature of the goods, import duties may be levied in part. For example, the use of a construction machine can be partially duty paid because it participates in the economic cycle and competes with domestic machines. The amount of the tax would be 3% of normal import duties per month.

Full import duties paid despite temporary importation

To avoid distortions of competition caused by abuse of this procedure, the temporarily used goods are under strict customs supervision. In the case of written declarations, the authorities shall in all cases require a security at the level of normal import duties. Withdrawal from customs supervision or alteration of the goods results in the creation of customs debts and the entry in the accounts of import duties.

If the goods are in the customs status of temporary importation and are nevertheless levied by the General customs office Import duties, it must be carefully checked whether the customs decision is legal. Also, when a customs debt is incurred, several parties are often involved, who are liable to customs as total debtors. The use of a debtor shall be at the discretion of the customs authorities.

A decision of the authority that is unfavourable for you can be appealed. Our attorneys for customs law are happy to assist you.