Inward processing

Under inward processing, goods are imported to the European Union from countries outside the EU, e.g. for the purposes of manufacturing, repair, restoring, refurbishing or other processing.

After inward processing, the goods can be re-exported or released for free circulation.

No import duties or import taxes will be collected on the goods placed under the procedure, unless the procedure is discharged by releasing the goods for free circulation in the customs territory of the Union. In addition, the goods will not be subject to commercial policy measures, insofar as they do not prohibit the entry or exit of goods into or from the customs territory of the Union.

The procedure must be discharged within the time limit given in the authorisation. The procedure can be discharged by any acceptable customs procedure, usually re-exportation or release for free circulation. Other alternatives are e.g., the placing of goods under the customs warehousing procedure or the transit procedure.

The holder of the authorisation must provide the supervising customs office with the bill of discharge within 30 days of expiry of the time limit for discharging the procedure. Unless the supervising customs office has ordered otherwise, the information to be entered in the bill of discharge is mentioned in Annex 71–06 of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446 and in the Instruction for holder of authorisation for the inward processing procedure. After the bill of discharge has been approved, the procedure is discharged permanently and the reserved guarantee is released or refunded.

Credit customers must send the bills of discharge to the supervising customs office (valvovatulli(at)tulli.fi). Cash customers must send the bills of discharge to the customs office where the import declaration was processed, i.e. to the supervising customs office for cash customers.

You can request that the supervising customs office extends the time limit for discharging the procedure or the time limit for providing the bill of discharge. Request the extension with customs form 975s ‘Menettelyä koskevien määräaikojen pidentäminen‘ (available in Finnish). If direct representation with the liability of a guarantor is used when placing goods under the procedure, the guarantor’s agreement to extend the time-limit is required.

If the procedure is discharged by releasing the goods for free circulation, customs duty and value added tax must be paid for the goods. As of 1 January 2018, importers registered for VAT are required to declare the VAT to the Tax Administration.

Upcoming code changes:

Inward processing: general information about procedure codes

  • The previous national procedure codes for inward processing beginning with ‘7’ will no longer be in use
    • The procedure codes will first be taken out of use in import declarations that are lodged in the Customs Clearance Service (UTU)
    • The codes will still be in use for procedures that start with export, until the export declarations are also transferred to the Customs Clearance Service (UTU) 
  • The national procedures codes will no longer be in use. In the future, the procedure is supplemented with additional procedure codes
  • The additional procedure code does not specify, whether the authorisation in question is granted by the Customs authorisation centre or if it’s applied for with a customs declaration
    • When you apply for an authorisation with a customs declaration via message exchange, enter the code for additional information 00100
    • When you apply for an authorisation with a customs declaration in the Customs Clearance Service, choose the right declaration
  • Provide the additional information required for the special procedure
    • by message with the additional information codes for the goods item (e.g. ‘FIXBQ – proposed means of identification’)
    • in the Customs Clearance Service by writing in the text field, or by selecting the additional information from the drop-down menu

Bill of discharge and time limits for discharging the procedure

  • The bill of discharge can be provided with a document sent separately or with a free-form contact message FI439, with code 007 as reason for contact 
    • The bill of discharge will be getting its own message FI488
  • A reminder message is coming regarding the expiry of the time limit for the procedure and the time limit for providing a bill of discharge
    • Customs procedure 5111 is an exception
  • The customer can request an extension to the time limit for discharging the procedure with message FI439 and reason code ‘003 – Request for time-limit extension’

Inward processing: codes most often used

  • Customs procedure code 51xx
  • Additional procedure code 999
  • Preferential treatment 100
  • Nature of business activity (transaction) 11, 41, 42, or 60
  • Articles on customs debt: 
    • ‘XTJ’ is in the future ‘FID85’ (UCC Art. 85) 
    • ‘XTK’ is in the future ‘FID86’ (UCC Art. 86(3)) 

Authorisation granted by Customs’ Authorisation Centre

  • The authorisation granted by Customs’ Authorisation Centre must be in force when the procedure starts
  • The customs declarations must be lodged using a standard customs declaration
  • The additional procedure code 999 replaces the national procedure code 7SA
  • The authorisation number is provided the same way as before
    • Enter the document code C601 and as document ‘IPO – Authorisation for the use of inward processing procedure (column 8a, annex A of Delegated Regulation 2015/2446).’
  • Additional information connected to the procedure, such as the time limit, is generated automatically on the decision according to the authorisation

Authorisation applied for with a customs declaration

  • The additional procedure code 999 replaces the national procedure code 7SB
  • Examples of the changes to the additional information codes provided as declaration-specific data:  
    • ‘XBH – time limit for discharging the procedure’ is in the future ‘FIXBH.’ 
    • In message exchange ‘XBQ – proposed means of identification’ is in the future ‘FIXBQ.’
    • In the Customs Clearance Service, enter the additional information by writing in the text field or choose it from the drop-down menu   
    • Always enter the code ‘7 – Other means of identification’: enter ‘records’ and the address where the records are stored  
    • In addition, enter the code ‘1 – Serial number or manufacturer’s number’ and add the data of the serial number or manufacturer’s number 
  • The place of processing is entered with two additional information codes in the future:
    • Always enter ‘FIXAC – Place(s) of processing.’ 
    • In addition, enter ‘FIFPU – First place of use or processing’ when  
      • the first place of use or processing is in another EU country or
      • the authorisation holder is established outside the Union

The additional information codes and descriptions of economic conditions will change

  • In message exchange, information about the economic conditions, e.g. ‘XAU’, ‘XAS’ and XBG,’ are in the future entered with additional information code ‘FIXBG.’ 
  • In addition, enter the additional information with a number in the description field, depending on which economic condition is used
  • Examples of changes to the codes for economic conditions:
    • The additional information code ‘XBG’ is in the future ‘FIXBG.’ Enter in the description field the value ‘1’ (processing of products not mentioned in Annex 71–02 of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446)
    • The additional information code ‘XAU’ is in the future ‘FIXBG.’ Enter in the description field the value ‘2’ (amendment)
    • The additional information code ‘XAS’ is in the future ‘FIXBG.’ Enter in the description field the value ‘3’ (the processing of goods directly or indirectly put at the disposal of the holder of the authorisation, carried out according to specifications on behalf of a person established outside of the customs territory of the Union, generally in return for payment of processing costs alone)
  • in the Customs Clearance Service select the information from the drop-down menu

Inward processing: import that discharges the prior export of equivalent goods

  • Customs procedure 5111, will also in the future require an authorisation from Customs’ Authorisation Centre
  • The authorisation must also in the future have a mention of the use of equivalent goods 
  • When the goods are placed under the procedure, an INF number must be entered in the customs declaration, so that no bill of discharge has to be provided 
  • No reminder message is sent regarding the expiry of the time limit for the procedure

Points to consider

How do I submit an import declaration?

From inward processing to release for free circulation 

When you are declaring goods for free circulation after inward processing, use procedure 4051. 

Provide as previous document the inward processing declaration with the code IM and as identification, the transaction ID you received from the service Import declarations for businesses – special procedures (ITU). 

When the inward processing ends with release for free circulation, the additional procedure code F44 or 644 must be entered in the import declaration. The additional procedure is used to indicate according to which article the customs debt is defined in the authorisation. If you wish to apply additional procedure codes 150 or 160, the additional procedure codes F44 or 644, are not entered. 

  • Enter the additional procedure code 644, if the inward processing ends with release for free circulation and you wish to apply Article 85(1) of the UCC for determining the customs debt.
  • Enter the additional procedure code F44, when the inward processing ends with release for free circulation and you wish to apply Article 86(3) of the UCC for determining the customs debt.

    If you enter F44 as additional procedure code, provide the following details with the additional information code ‘FIXXX’ for the goods item:
    • the commodity code provided, when the goods are declared for procedure 51
    • how much material placed under procedure 51 in used for the manufacture of a product to be released for free circulation, and the value of this material.
  • Enter as additional procedure ‘160 Special procedures - equivalent goods - release of non-Union goods for free circulation and consumption’, if you are using equivalent goods (UCC Article 223(1)(1) and IA Article 269). 
  • Enter as additional procedure ‘150 – Inward processing, simplified discharge of the procedure’, if the authorisation for inward processing allows for simplified discharge of the procedure (UCC Article 256 and IA Article 324). 

Enter as additional information codes, either 00700 or 00700 and 00800:

  • 00700 IP – Discharge of inward processing (Article 241(1) first sub-paragraph of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446)
    • Enter as description of the additional information code either the authorisation number of the inward processing (i.e. the number of the normal authorisation or the number of the authorisation for simplification, i.e. the number of the customs decision, when the authorisation was applied with a customs declaration) or the INF number. 
  • 00800 IP CPM – Discharge of inward processing (specific commercial policy measures) Article 241(1) second sub-paragraph of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446)
    • Enter the code 00800 when certain commercial policy measures were applied to goods originally places under procedure 51 and these commercial policy measures are still applied when the goods (including processed products) are places under a subsequent procedure. Enter also the additional information code 00700 and its description.
      • According to UCC Article 5(36), the commercial policy measures are non-tariff measures. Commercial policy measures include required documents such as surveillance documents, health certificates, import authorisations as well as import prohibitions and restrictions. For example, anti-dumping duties and protective measures are tariff measures.
  • If you are a holder of a normal authorisation, provide for the goods item the additional document code ‘C601 IPO – authorisation for the use of inward processing procedure’ and enter the authorisation number for the inward processing (i.e. the number of the normal authorisation).

When the inward processing is discharged by placing the goods under the customs warehousing procedure

When after inward processing, the goods have been place under the customs warehousing procedure, which is discharged with release for free circulation of the goods, the information to be provided in the declaration is determined according to the inward processing procedure. Enter in the customs declaration customs procedure code 4051 and the information required for the customs procedure (customs procedure code 4071 is not used). Provide as previous document the customs warehousing MRN as well as the code ‘FICWD – Release from customs warehouse’ in the additional information for the goods item. Provide as additional document with the code ‘1ZZZ’, the transaction ID of the inward processing you received from the service Import declarations for businesses – special procedures (ITU). 

Customer notice, 9.4.2021: New code introduced (Y067) when a special procedure or temporary storage is discharged after 1 January 2021 or thereafter (in Finnish and Swedish)


Inward processing can be discharged by transit only if the goods are transferred to another authorisation holder within the Union. In the transit declaration, in the box for additional information, enter the following information:

  • “ZZZ” (other) and “IP” and the electronic INF reference number (if any).

As the previous procedure, enter the number of the customs clearance decision concerning the inward processing procedure.

If the goods placed under the inward processing procedure are subject to commercial policy measures (e.g. surveillance document), enter also “C P M” in addition to “IP”.


As a rule, an authorisation for inward processing is granted to a business established in the Union which carries out the processing or arranges for it to be carried out. An authorisation is not granted e.g. to an importer who sells or uses the goods as such or that doesn’t have any connection with processing operations.

In occasional cases, where it is considered justified, an authorisation may also be granted to a person established outside the customs territory of the Union, e.g. regarding a private person, when the case is not considered being of any great economic importance.

Apply for a written authorisation from the Authorisation Centre in advance. Apply for an authorisation for the use of inward processing procedure via the online Authorisation Service, which is available on the front page of Customs’ e-services.

If you are applying for an authorisation involving more than one Member State, submit the application via the Customs Decisions System. The issuing of authorisations involving more than one Member State requires, among other things, agreement by all the participating Member States and the creation of a system for exchange of information between the holder of the authorisation and the Member States.

An authorisation for the procedure can be applied for with a customs declaration. In that case, the required additional information is submitted with a message declaration or a SAD form. An authorisation for using the procedure is granted, when the goods are released for the inward processing procedure.


  • The applicant is established in the territory of the Union (the authorisation may, on special grounds, also be granted to an applicant established outside the Union).
  • The applicant has a valid comprehensive guarantee.
  • The applicant’s economic conditions are fulfilled.
  • The applicant shall not have committed any serious infringements of customs or tax legislation.
  • The applicant keeps sufficient records, which allow customs controls.
  • The applicant is able to submit a sufficient bill of discharge.

Where a customs debt is incurred as a result of inward processing, the amount of import duty to be paid shall be determined either on the basis of the goods placed under the procedure (UCC Art. 86(3)) or on the basis of the products to be released for free circulation (UCC Art. 85).

Regardless of the article applied when determining the amount of customs debt, the level of the import duty is always the amount of duty valid the day when the customs debt was incurred. In the authorisation application, the applicant shall choose which article shall primarily be applied.