Inward processing procedure

The Inward processing procedure allows you to process, modify, destroy or repair non-Union goods in the customs territory of the EU without having to pay import duties. The compensating products can then be re-exported or released for free circulation.

You do not have to pay import duties and other levies on the goods. No commercial policy measures shall be applied in so far as they do not prohibit the entry or exit of goods into or from the customs territory.

Many EU producers use non-Union goods, such as raw materials and intermediate products, in the production of semi-finished and finished goods. The Inward processing regime was created in order to create the same conditions for these EU producers as for producers in third countries. This will stimulate and develop economic activity in the EU.

Applying for an authorisation

If you wish to use the Inward processing procedure, you need an authorisation. You apply for the authorisation via the EU Trader Portal. For more information, go to the 'Completion instructions EU Trader Portal – Inward processing authorisation (IPO)' (only available in Dutch).

Does your organisation have its headquarters outside the customs territory of the Union? Only in that event you apply for an authorisation using the form 'Application for an inward processing authorisation' (only available in Dutch).

Please note!

Customs authorisations offer facilities to which Customs attach certain conditions, such as set standards for your administrative organisation and internal control. You also have to provide a guarantee. Prior to applying for an authorisation, make the proper preparations. It is possible to get help from an external advisor or a customs agent.

If it is the first time that you apply for an authorisation, call the Customs Tax Telephone (BelastingTelefoon Douane).

As we do not wish to lose sight of the interests of the producers within the EU, in specific cases we will examine whether as an applicant you fulfil the economic conditions.

Simplified application

In a number of cases, you can apply for this authorisation in a simplified manner. You can make this simplified application by lodging a declaration for placing goods under the procedure using the standard declaration procedure. The customs declaration shall be considered as an application for the authorisation. You then provide additional details using the 'Statement Additional information and requirements when applying for an authorisation (for a special procedure by means of declaration)'.

Cross-border authorisation

You can also apply for a cross-border authorisation for the Inward Processing procedure. More information on this can be found at the Expertise Centre for Cross-border Authorisations.

Standardized Information Exchange (INF)

Standardized Information Exchange (INF) is the exchange of information between market participants and customs authorities and between customs authorities themselves, for goods which have been placed under various processing procedures (inward and outward processing procedures).

INF is an obligation in respect of:

  • the inward processing procedure IM/EX which involves 1 or more EU Member States. More than 1 Member State is involved, if you - or your representative - submit a customs declaration under the inward processing procedure in a Member State other than the Member State in which the discharge of the inward processing procedure is taking place
  • the inward processing procedure EX/IM (prior to the export of compensating products) which involves one or more EU Member States

For more information on Standardized Information Exchange (INF), go to 'bijlage 5: Gestandaardiseerde uitwisseling van inlichtingen (INF)' (only available in Dutch) of the Handboek Douane (Customs Manual).

The electronic INF system via the EU Customs Trader Portal

To use INF, you make use of the electronic INF system. This electronic system replaces the paper information sheets (INF 1, INF 2, INF 5 and INF 9).

If you are a holder of an authorisation, you will get access to the electronic INF system by logging into the EU Customs Trader Portal. You – or your representative – will need eHerkenning (digital recognition login) with assurance level 3.

For more information go to 'Log in with eRecognition'.

More information

Read more about the Inward processing authorisation (IPO) in the Information and general conditions and in the 'Actieve veredeling' (Inward processing procedure) section of the  Customs Manual (only available in Dutch).

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