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Import Export Hub


Repairs - sending goods overseas

For goods that are to be exported for repair, alteration or processing, import VAT and duty will be due on the re-import of the goods into the UK at their full value plus the added value (typically the repair cost), unless any reliefs apply.

For high value items, this can create a significant VAT liability that is usually a cost to Departments.

How can this cost be reduced?

One way to reduce the amount of import VAT and duty payable is to use Outward Processing Relief (OPR).  This does not eliminate the tax liability completely but it significantly reduces the amount payable.  The value on re-import becomes that of the ‘added value’.

Use of OPR requires authorisation from HMRC.  The University is authorised to use OPR for certain types of goods where certain criteria have been met.

Departments must contact the Import Export Hub to obtain authorisation to use OPR BEFORE the goods are exported.

To find out if you can use OPR and benefit from a reduced import tax liability – Follow this LINK 

For replacement parts, import taxes will be due on the full replacement value.


A spectrometer, valued at £40,000, is sent to Germany for repair.  The repair costs is £5,000.  Ordinarily, on re-import, there would be an import VAT liability of £9,000.  There is no duty to pay because the UK Tariff is 0% for this item.

Using OPR, the value for import can be reduced to £5,000 (the repair cost only) resulting in a reduced import VAT liability of £1,000.

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