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Musical Instruments: Customs

Question for Treasury

UIN HL12770, tabled on 1 February 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether an ATA Carnet is required for the portable transportation of musical instruments and equipment for (1) UK musicians working in the EU, and (2) EU musicians working in the UK.

Answered on

15 February 2021

ATA carnets are available for commercial goods, professional equipment or goods going to trade fairs or exhibitions in participating countries, which are moved on a temporary basis to a new customs territory (i.e. they will not be sold and will return to the country of origin). This includes musical instruments. Carnets allow a single document to be used for clearing goods through customs in the countries that are part of the ATA carnet system.

There are two other options available when moving musical instruments temporarily between the EU and the UK (used together for export and reimport procedures); Temporary Admission and Returned Goods Relief.

Temporary Admission is a customs procedure that allows a person to import non-UK goods temporarily into the UK. Using Temporary Admission means any import duty or import VAT is suspended as long as the goods are removed from the UK at a later date. Temporary Admission is useful if a person needs to import goods such as samples, professional equipment or items for auction, exhibition or demonstration temporarily into the UK.

Returned Goods Relief (RGR) allows eligible items to be reimported free from customs duty and import VAT. The relief can apply to exported items returning to the UK if certain conditions can be met. For RGR to apply, goods must normally be returned within three years of the date of export unless exceptional circumstances exist. For RGR on import VAT to apply the exporter and importer must be the same person and any VAT due must have been previously paid in the UK or EU.

Temporary Admission and Returned Goods Relief may be available in the EU. Further information on EU customs procedures can be found online.

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