Steve Gourley, Business Process and Compliance Manager at Momart Ltd, gave us a brief insight into the world of exhibitions-related customs this morning at MShed in Bristol:

General Information
  • The Customs Status indicates whether import Duties and Taxes have been paid for Community Goods (free circulation, union goods, T2) or Non-Community Goods (Not in free circulation, non-union goods, T1).
  • The Commodity Code tells Customs what the goods are, e.g. 9701 1000 00 is paintings, drawings and pastels.
  • The Customs Procedure Code (CPC) tells Customs what we want to do with the goods, e.g. 40 00 200 is permanent import and pay 5% import VAT.

UK Exhibitions – Borrowing
  • NIRU Museums and Galleries Relief
    • Importers must be approved by NIRU which is valid for 3 years via an approval letter which must accompany every import customs entry when claiming relief.
    • Duty Relief applies for exhibits that are not for sale, dispatched directly, where items are used exclusively as exhibits and detailed records are kept.
    • VAT Relief is then granted as long as the exhibits have been donated free of charge or if they are bought from a private individual.
    • If objects are to stay in the UK, NIRU must approve if they are transferred to another NIRU institution or are diverted to home use with the importer paying VAT.
    • If objects are to leave the UK, where they are re-exported from the EU a full export Customs entry is required, CPC code 10 00 001 and they may require a UK or EU export licence. If they are transferred within the EU they may require a UK export licence and Customs form T5 must be used, although be warned as some EU countries don’t accept T5.
  • Temporary Admission (TA)
    • To be eligible for Duty and VAT relief, objects must be imported for a specific use or reason, with the intention of being re-exported or removed from TA within the time limit given and not be altered when imported.
    • Security must be provided to cover the potential Duty and/or VAT charges due. This can be in the form of a cash deposit, Deed of Guarantee or as a holder of a full TA authorisation.
    • Where objects are to stay in the UK they can be either transferred to a Customs ‘Bonded’ Warehouse or to another TA authorisation holder.
    • If objects are to leave the UK, where they are re-exported from the EU a full customs entry is required, CPC code 31 53 000 but no export is required. If they are transferred within the EU the community transit declaration T1 is required but once again no export licence.
Overseas Exhibitions – Lending
  • Temporary Export and Return Goods Relief (RGR) applies for objects that are Community Goods in Free Circulation. A Full Customs entry is required, the owner declared on entry and CPC code 23 00 000. A UK or EU export licence may be required and an INF3 if returning to another EU country.

Well, what a lot to take in! I think this just goes to show how hard our transport agents work. Thank you to Steve for concisely summarising exhibitions-related customs.
Nadine Loach
Exhibition and Display Coordinator, Dulwich Picture Gallery