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Temporary importation into England


Hello all,

This isn’t exactly a metalsmithing question but since there are so
many users in England I hope that I can get help with this question.

Does anyone know how temporary importation works in England?

I have a customer in England who would really like to be able to
view specific gemstones of mine to decide whether he wants to buy
them or not.

The idea would be that we ship the gem to the customer with a
temporary importation and then whether or not the customer wants it
he would ship it back to us in the USA. (Reexportation is a
requirement of a temporary importation as I understand it, not that I
understand that much about it.)

Then we could ship it to him in England with a normal importation
(subject to VAT) or hold it for later pick up at a show etc.

The reason we want to be able to do this is because we want to avoid
paying VAT on gems that he does not end up purchasing.

What can people tell me about this?

I would appreciate any help I could get on this.




you will need to write on the package “temporary admission Notice
200” and the consignee will then have to fill out a form C88 if
required. If your prospective buyer has a VAT number then put the
number on the package. The latter form is a pain in the butt because
it uses codes instead of words for shipping method, place of entry
to UK, goods type etc. The codes are available online via but take a bit of finding. The C88 will only have to
be filled in if the duty due is greater than 10 euros (note-duty,
not VAT) On the standard customs sticky label you should mark the
goods “for inspection and return” rather than commercial sample. I
hope this helps you, it is not a certainty as customs may ask the
recipient to guarantee payment of the expected duty/VAT if the goods
arent sent back. This is usully done by paying and reclaiming over
the phone by credit card-depends what mood the person who reads your
envelope is in as to whether it becomes arduous or not.

Nick Royall