Import to the UK under Return Goods Relief

Return Goods Relief: A Guide for Businesses and Individuals

Return Goods Relief (RGR)  enables businesses and individuals to re-import goods into the United Kingdom without incurring taxes, assuming those goods were originally exported from the UK. This guide explores the intricacies of RGR, shedding light on how to apply, its advantages, and potential challenges encountered.

What is Return Goods Relief?

RGR is a customs relief procedure designed to prevent the double taxation of goods that are exported and later returned to the UK. It applies to goods returning in the same condition as when they were exported, aiming to ease the financial and administrative burdens on businesses and individuals involved in the trade.

Eligibility Criteria for RGR

For goods to qualify for RGR, several criteria must be met:

  • Goods must have been previously exported from the UK and are returning in an unchanged state.
  • There's typically a three-year time limit from the date of export to re-import.
  • Proof of export from UK is required.
  • The exporter and importer must be the same business/person
  • The goods must be returned in their original, unchanged condition.
  • The goods cannot have been upgraded to increase their value outside the UK.

How to Apply for RGR

Applying for RGR involves a clear process:

  1. Documentation Preparation: Gather all relevant documents, including proof of export and a detailed inventory of the returning goods.
  2. Declaration: Upon re-importation, Bright Customs will declare (on behalf of the importer) the goods to customs using the designated RGR procedure, providing all necessary documentation.

Benefits of RGR

The advantages of RGR are clear:

  • Cost Savings: Businesses save on customs duties and VAT, significantly reducing the cost of returning goods.
  • Simplified Logistics: RGR streamlines the re-importation process, making it easier for businesses to manage their international operations.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Navigating RGR can come with its set of challenges, such as documentation errors or misunderstanding eligibility criteria. To mitigate these issues:

  • Ensure all documentation is accurate and complete.
  • Consult with Bright Customs to clarify eligibility and procedural questions.

Return Goods Relief offers significant advantages for businesses engaged in international trade, reducing costs and simplifying the re-importation process. Understanding and utilizing RGR can be a strategic asset, ensuring that goods move across borders as efficiently as possible.


For those looking to navigate the complexities of RGR contact Bright Customs for more information and advice.

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