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Outward Processing Relief
    1. What is Outward Processing Relief procedure?

    Outward Processing Relief (OP)
    , is a customs special procedure which allows union goods to be temporarily exported from the customs territory of the Union, in order to undergo processing operations and the products resulting from those operations (processed products) to be re-imported in the EU and released for free circulation with total or partial relief from import duties.

    The
    processing operations, which can take place under the OP procedure are the following:

    · the working of goods, including erecting or assembling them or fitting them to other goods·
    · the processing of goods·
    · the repair of goods, including restoring them and putting them in order·

2. What are the benefits when using OP procedure?

The purpose of this procedure is to provide total or partial relief from customs duties on re-imported union goods that have previously been exported to third countries for processing or repair. This enables traders to gain advantage from cheaper labour costs outside the EU, while encouraging the use of union produced raw materials to manufacture the finished products and also been able to undergo processes not available within the EU countries.

It also allows faulty goods to be returned to a third country for repair, or for replacement with equivalent goods under the Standard Exchange System (SES).

3. Which is the legal basis for OP Procedure?

  • Union Customs Code - Regulation (EU) no. 952/2013 - UCC (main common provisions: Articles: 1-6, 22-30, 55, 77, 79-82, 85-86, 89-98 specific: Articles: 210-225, 241, 255, 259-262)
  • Delegated Regulation (ΕU) no 2015/2446 - DA (main common provisions: Articles: 72, 75, 98-103, specific: Articles: 163-164, 166, 169, 171-174, 176, 178-181, 183, 240, 242-243, 246-254 and Annexes Α, Β: 32-03, 33-06, 71-02 up to 71-06, 90)
  • Implementing Regulation (ΕU) no 2015/2447 - IA (main common provisions: Articles: 10-15, 147-158, specific: Articles 259-269, 271 and Annexes Α, Β)
  • Delegated Regulation (ΕU) no 2016/341 for transitional rules (main common provisions: Articles:2-3, specific: 14-23, final provisions: 55 and Annexes Ι, D1, 12-application & authorisation forms, Annex 13-INF)
  • National Customs Code Law of 2004, L. 94(I)/2004 (Articles 54-56), as it has been amended·
  • National Customs Code Law Degree (Rules and provisions of customs procedures)- KDP 436/2004 (only in Greek)
  • National Excise Duties Law of 2004, L. 91(I)/2004 as it has been amended ·
  • The V.A.T. Law, L. 95(I)/2000, as it has been amended.

4. What type of goods may be placed under the OP Procedure?

All union goods may be placed under OP procedure except, according to article 259(2)-UCC:

  • where the temporarily exported goods cannot be identified in the processed products·
  • whose export gives rise to repayment or remission of import duties or,
  • which, prior to export, were released for free circulation under a duty exemption or at a reduced rate of duty by virtue of their end-use, for as long as the purposes of such end-use have not been fulfilled, unless those goods have to undergo repair operations or,
  • whose export gives rise to the granting of export refunds or in respect of which a financial advantage other than such refunds is granted under the common agricultural policy by virtue of the export of the said goods,
  • where the procedure is requested for repair but the temporarily exported goods are not capable of being repaired and,
  • where the procedure is to be used to improve the technical performance of the goods.

5. How goods are placed under the OP Procedure?

The entitlement to the use of the OP procedure is conditional upon the issue of an authorisation by the Customs & Excise Department, following the submission of an application by the person who arranges for the processing operations to be carried out. The application may be submitted either (a) by electronic application or (b) by means of a customs export declaration when goods are temporarily exported.


    (a) The electronic application must be submitted through Customs Decision System (CDS) to the customs authorities designated for the place where the goods to be declared for temporary exportation are located and/or where the applicant’s main accounts for customs purposes are held or are accessible. Information about the CDS can be found here. Economic operators can be registered through https://customs.ec.europa.eu/tpui-cdms-web/. The guidance for applying for an OP authorisation can be found here (in greek only).

    (b) If application is made by means of a customs export declaration, it must be submitted through the Export system. This simplified authorisation can be allowed in any of the cases referred to in Article 163(1) - Reg. (ΕU) no 2015/2446 (DA), except those of paragraph 2 of the same article, such as:

    • goods listed in Annex 71-02 DA,
    • when more than one member state is involved,
    • where the use of equivalent goods is applied for
    • where an examination of economic conditions is required.

    This can be allowed in the following cases:
      • where the processing operations concerns repairs, including the standard exchange system without prior importation
      • for release for free circulation after OP
        - using the standard exchange system with prior importation,

        - using the standard exchange system without prior importation, where the existing authorisation does not cover such a system and the customs authorities permit its modification,

        - if the processing operation concerns goods of a non-commercial nature.

In exceptional cases, an authorisation to use OP procedure may be granted to another person in respect of goods of union origin, where the processing operation consists in incorporating those goods into goods obtained outside the Union and imported as compensating products, provided that use of the procedure helps to promote the sale of export goods without adversely affecting the essential interests of union producers of products identical or similar to the imported processed products.

6. What conditions must be fulfilled in order to use an OP procedure?

The authorisation shall be granted only:

    · to persons established in the Union

    · to persons who offer every guarantee necessary for the proper conduct of the operations

    · where the temporarily exported goods can be identified in the processed products·

    · where the essential interests of Union producers are not adversely affected·

    · where the customs authorities can supervise and monitor the procedure without having to introduce administrative arrangements disproportionate to the economic needs involved.


It shall be noted that for the implementation of the Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market and the harmonised legislation (Law 76(I)/2010 concerning Freedom of Establishment of Service Providers and the Free Movement of Services- only in greek), the Department of Customs & Excise for the purpose of simplifying the procedures and administrative cooperation required for the evaluation of the above application, may, through the IMI system, request and obtain information concerning the applicant from the competent authority of another Member State, in which the applicant has declared that is a registered member.

For any further information concerning IMI system you may visit the website http://ec.europa.eu/imi-net or obtain access through the website of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism http://www.mcit.gov.cy.

7. When is an OP authorisation involving more than one member granted?

This multi-national authorisation is applied when the authorisation involves customs administrations in more than one Member State e.g. union goods are temporarily exported from member state A and are the processed products resulting from the temporarily exported union goods are re-imported in member state B and released in free circulation.

In this case, the electronic application must be submitted through Customs Decision System (CDS) to the customs authorities designated for the place where the applicant's main accounts are held facilitating audit-based controls and where at least part of the temporary export operations to be covered by the authorisation are conducted. Where the customs authorities cannot be determined, the application shall be submitted to the customs authorities designated for the place where the applicant's main accounts are held. Such kind of authorisation is granted after the prior agreement of the customs authorities involved.

Moreover, in order to communicate information on temporary export goods to other customs offices involved in the authorisation, an information sheet INF2 may be issued, at the request of the person concerned or on the initiative of the customs authorities, in order to obtain partial or total relief for the compensating products.

8. How does an OP procedure operates?

The OP authorisation specifies the period of validity of the authorisation (up to 3 years for goods of Annex 71-02DA and up to 5 years for other goods) and the period of discharge (meaning the time needed for the goods to be transported from EU to the processor’s facilities in the third country and vice versa, plus the time for the processing operations needed) which may be extended after a written request.

Entering the temporary export goods under OP procedure is made in accordance with the provisions laid down for exportation/importation accordingly.

The holder of the authorisation is requested to keep records as provided for in article 178 of the Reg. (EU) 2015/2446 which will contain all necessary information for the temporary export goods and the processed products e.g. particulars of the declarations (import-export), rate of yield, nature of the processing operations, commercial or technical descriptions necessary to identify the goods etc. as in Annex 71-06 of the Reg. (EU) 2015/2446.

9. When is an OP procedure discharged?

OP procedure is discharged when the processed products or the union goods placed under the procedure are re-imported in the EU. The holder of the authorisation must lodged at the customs of re-importation (customs of discharge) an import declaration placing the union goods/ processed products into free circulation and, in the case where the goods where exported from other member state, to be accompanied by the information sheet INF2, certified by the customs of export.

Total or partial relief from import duties is granted when the processed products are declared for release for free circulation, in the name of or on behalf of:


    (a) the holder of the authorisation, or

    (b) any other person established in the customs territory of the Union provided that, that person has obtained the consent of the holder of the authorisation and the conditions of the authorisation are fulfilled.


OP procedure is also discharge according to Article 215-UCC when the goods placed under the procedure or the processed products are placed under a subsequent customs procedure, have been taken out of the customs territory of the Union, or have been destroyed with no waste remaining, or are abandoned to the State in accordance with Article 199-UCC.

After the expiration of the period of discharge and within 30 days a bill of discharge must be submitted to the supervising office with the date as in Annex 71-06 of the Reg. (EU) 2015/2446.

10. How is total or partial relief from import duty being calculated?

Where ad-valorem import duty is to be applied (X value), the amount of import duty for processed products resulting from the OP procedure or ‘replacement’ products is calculated on the basis of the cost of the processing operations undertaken outside the customs territory of the Union.

'Cost of the processing operations' should mean the customs value of the processed products at the time of acceptance of the customs declaration for release for free circulation minus the statistical value of the corresponding temporary export goods at the time when they were placed under OP.

Where a specific import duty is to be applied (X quantity) in relation to processed products resulting from the OP procedure or replacement products, the amount of the import duty is calculated on the basis of the cost of the processing operations undertaken outside the customs territory of the Union, multiplied by the amount of import duty applicable to the processed products or replacement products, divided by the customs value of the processed products or replacement products.

Please note that when faulty goods are repaired free of charge under guarantee or warranty, you can claim total relief from import duty and VAT, provided that you provide evidence to support the claim (e.g. guarantee or warranty document or contractual evidence that the repair was free of all charges).

The rate of VAT is imposed on the CIF customs value (cost of processing operations+ freight + Insurance from the place of processing outside EU back to the EU) + freight + insurance from the EU to the place of processing outside EU + import duties payable.

11. More Information

Guidance for member states and Trade -European Commission TAXUDA2/SPE/MRe (20171) 6411367 (english)

For more information you may apply to the Department of Customs and Excise at the following address:

The Director,
Department of Customs and Excise
Corner M. Karaoli and Gr. Afxentiou,1096 Nicosia

The postal address is:
Director of Customs,
Customs Headquarters,
1440, Nicosia.

Fax no: 22302031
E-mail: headquarters@customs.mof.gov.cy

For oral inquiries you may call: 22601741.


last updated 20/3/2017



Related Attachments:
2446-15EN-OP.pdfRegulation (ΕU) no 2015/2446 - Delegated Acts - on Outward processing procedure-relevant articles (File Size: 15220,63Kb)
Download file type AcrobatRegulation (ΕU) no 2016/341 - Delegated Acts for transitional rules on Outward Processing Procedure-relevant articles (File Size: 1037,96Kb)
2447-15EN-OP.pdfRegulation (ΕU) no 2015/2447 - Implementing Acts on Outward processing procedure-relevant articles (File Size: 9646,59Kb)
Download file type AcrobatRegulation (EU) no. 952/2013 - Union Customs Code- UCC on Outward Processing Procedure-relevant articles (File Size: 2205,28Kb)


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