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Guidance: Suspension of the tax – Situations or customs procedures

The conditions under which goods from third territories are brought into the European value added tax (VAT) territory (for the definition of the European VAT territory and third territories, please refer to the BOI- TVA-CHAMP-20-10 ) involve:

  • first, situations awaiting assignment to a European Union (EU) customs procedure (period between notification of arrival and notification of presentation to customs, temporary storage). In these situations, although it has entered the European customs territory, the good is not yet imported within the meaning of VAT. These situations are called, for VAT purposes, “import deferral situation”;
  • second, assignment to an EU customs procedure. The common law regime is release for free circulation, which involves the collection of customs duties and formally constitutes an import subject to VAT (which may, if necessary, be exempted). There are also special regimes which may involve either an importation subject to VAT at the time of placement (end-use regime, with total or partial exemption from customs duties and temporary admission regime with partial exemption from customs), or a postponement of the import to the exit from the regime (external transit, customs warehouse and free zone, temporary admission with total exemption from customs duties and inward processing). The special customs procedures of the second category are called,

In addition, in the context of trade between the European VAT territory and the special tax territories (territory included in the customs territory of the EU but where VAT does not apply), the special customs procedure for internal transit ( in the form of internal Union transit) also defers imports.

Note: There are other customs procedures which do not affect imports because they concern goods already released for free circulation in the European VAT territory (outward processing, export).

For more details, please refer to I § 30 to 120 of BOI-TVA-CHAMP-10-30 .


This chapter concerns the VAT treatment of transactions relating to goods placed or intended to be placed in situations or under import deferral regimes, namely:

  • in situations awaiting assignment to a customs procedure (customs conduct and temporary storage);
  • under the specific customs procedures of the EU which postpone imports (external transit, customs warehouse and free zone, temporary admission with total exemption from customs duties, inward processing, internal transit of the Union).


The comments in this chapter and article 277 A of the CGI do not concern the organization and operation of EU customs procedures, which are covered by customs regulations, nor the impact of these procedures on imports, which are set out below. to BOI-TVA-CHAMP-10-30 (subject to certain elements applicable overseas).



In this chapter, we will successively study:



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