Repair products – EU customs treatment
Faulty products are sent back outside the European Union for repair; can I get relief from import duties upon re-import of the repaired or replaced item?
Yes, when the repair is free of charge, it is possible to get full relief from duties upon re-import of the repaired or replaced product. It is not possible to get full relief when the repair is paid for, or repaired or replaced under a separately purchased warranty or service contract.
If the repair is free of charge, you’ll have to ask your shipper to apply for a license to re-import the fixed item without duties. It concerns the (simplified) Outward Processing relief license. Shippers usually charge about € 30 for that, and again € 30 for handling the exemption when the repaired product arrives. The duties payable should therefore be more that this € 60,- to actually benefit from the exemption.
When the repair is at a cost
When a charge is made for the repair, or for the replacement product, you cannot get a full relief from duties. Duty will remain payable on the costs of the repair. It is not always easy to determine if a repair is really free of charge. If the repair is performed under a separately bought warranty contract or a service contract, that repair is considered as a paid repair. Therefore it is important to verify upon which contract the repair is performed.
The possibility for relief from duties applies to the import VAT as well, so that you’ll also be able to get wholly or partially relief from import VAT. If it concerns a paid repair, because it is performed under a separately purchased warranty or service contract, you’d also want to verify the VAT treatment of the fee that was paid for that warranty or service contract.
This information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice. This information should therefore not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice.