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We sold a pair of new Holland & Holland shotguns (value £120,000)

Customer Question

We sold a pair of new Holland & Holland shotguns (value £120,000) to a Jersey resident in 2007 free of vat and he now wishes to bring them back to the UK as he is temporarily working in Milton Keynes and wishes to lodge and shoot the guns with us while he is working over here. He will take them back to Jersey once his contract has finished in about 2 years.

Will he need to pay UK vat on the weapons if they are to be here for 2 years.

Steve Denny
Hollans & Holland Shooting Grounds
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I am Keith and will try to assist you with your inquiry.

HMRC indicate that on:

4. Visiting the EC
Temporary Importation (TI) relief for personal effects may be available if the normal home is outside the EC.

top ^
4.1 Personal effects
You can claim TI relief for personal effects reasonably required for a journey such as clothing, toiletries, personal jewellery and other articles clearly of a personal nature including pets. An illustrative list of eligible goods is given in our Notice 200 Temporary Importations. You can claim relief for your period of stay in the EC up to a maximum of 24 months.

Sporting firearms and ammunition are also eligible for relief, however you will need to hold a Full TI authorisation, and this requires our prior approval. You should apply on Form C&E 1331 at least one month before you intend to import. The form is available on our website at, or from our National Advice Service who can also advise you where to send your completed application. If we approve the application, we will issue you a TI authorisation number.

This reply has not taken into account any restrictions on owning or possessing shotguns which may apply in the UK. These can, I believe, be quite onerous.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We looked at this and our understanding is that sporting firearms can only be brought in under section 1331 if they are under £10,000 in value.

Is this the case..(?)


Our clients weapons are a matched matched pair of 12 bore Holland & Holland guns that were purchased from us in 2007 for £120,000. There are no licence implications because we are registered firearms dealers and the guns would be permanently stored at our shooting school in Northwood Middlesex.

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 4 years ago.
I rather gathered that you were registered firearms dealers!

With respect s.1331 would appear to be US legislation effecting the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

There is a C1331 Border Agency direction regarding declarations to be made in respect of pleasure craft leaving the UK for destinations outside the EU and it refers to duty free stores aboard.

You will appreciate that this is leading to some confusion. Please elaborate.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't understand your answer at all regarding the second amendment and pleasure craft. That's nothing to do with my question.


You mention C&E 1331 in your earlier message to me and that sporting weapons can be imported on a temporary basis subject to HMRC authorisation.


I need to know if there if my clients guns worth £120,000 can be brought in on a temporary basis under this directive as my understanding is there is an upper limit of £10,000. Or will it be necessary for him to pay vat when the weapons come in from Jersey which can later be reclaimed when the guns are sent back to Jersey.

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 4 years ago.

With respect, I think you have misread HMRC's guidance which is: For accompanied or unaccompanied effects: more than €10,000 in value, or for pets, sporting firearms and ammunition regardless of their value*, make a C 88 (SAD) declaration, (in box 37 quote CPC 53 00 D04 - for goods liable to duty and VAT or 53 00 003 for goods liable to VAT only).' This advice contains the word 'ór' not 'ánd'; this would indicate that the 10000 euro limit is not applicable to the second list of items.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you that's very helpful, lastly is there a time limit - would the gun be liable to vat if it was with us longer than say 24 months.

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 4 years ago.
HMRC advice appears silent on the actual time limits but advises that:

'The period allowed under TI relief can, in exceptional circumstances, be extended within reasonable limits. You must write and explain why an extension is needed to our National Import Reliefs Unit (NIRU). Their address is:

Custom House
Killyhevlin Industrial Estate
County Fermanagh
Northern Ireland BT74 4EJ

Tel: 028 6632 2298
Fax: 028 6632 4018
Email: [email protected]'

In view of the rather exceptional nature of the shotguns being brought in under TI I would advise consultation with the authorities in Enniskillen before importation is anticipated.
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 4 years ago.
Further research indicates that 24 months is generally quoted time frame for temporary importation.