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Musical Instruments: Customs

Question for Treasury

UIN HL12931, tabled on 3 February 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) customs declarations are, or (2) an ATA Carnet is, required for the movement of musical instruments and equipment between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Answered on

17 February 2021

No export or exit declarations are required for goods leaving Great Britain (GB) for Northern Ireland (NI).

On entry into NI from GB, if musical instruments and equipment are to be used for commercial purposes, some additional process is required, as with other goods. If they are accompanied (for example, if contained in a passenger’s baggage) then the person carrying them will be deemed to have made a declaration by conduct. If the instruments and equipment are not accompanied (for example, they are carried as freight) then a declaration will be required.

Most goods in free circulation in Northern Ireland – including musical instruments and equipment – currently benefit from unfettered access to GB, such that no customs declarations are required either on exit from NI or entry to GB.

ATA Carnets are an option for temporarily moving goods between the UK, EU and NI. Use of an ATA Carnet is generally a commercial decision based on cost effectiveness and an individual’s/business’s circumstances.

Answered by

Treasury