What is a customs regime ? The example of the customs regime 42

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There are different customs regimes that allow businesses to import and export to other countries without difficulty. Customs regime 42 is the most common one at present.


Indeed, it is mainly used where an economic operator wants to import goods from a third State into a Member State and to make a delivery immediately to another Member State.

The purpose of this scheme is to facilitate, for taxable persons, VAT recovery operations linked to the creation of a tax credit resulting from the VAT payable on an importation. At that moment, intra-Community delivery which is immediately subsequent is not subject to a VAT payment by the seller. Thus by placing the import under Regime 42, the VAT in the Member State of customs clearance is suspended.


First of all, it is necessary that the subsequent intra-Community delivery is carried out immediately after the importation. Thus, in principle the only tolerated deadlines are those related to the transshipment of goods.

This requirement is accompanied by another one for intra-Community goods which must necessarily be the same as those imported under VAT exemption.


The customs regime 42 finds its interest in the case of successive sales transactions. For a example, a supplier established in India who sells to a company established in France, which will resell to a customer established in Belgium.

The goods then leave India to be imported into France and then delivered immediately to Belgium. The French company can clear its goods with the Indian invoice, then deliver to the Belgian customer who will not be involved in the import operation.

Thus thanks to the device of the regime 42 nobody advances VAT.

On the other hand, although the customs regime 42 may prove to be relevant, setting it up in compliance with customs and tax rules can remain rather complicated. Especially since tax and customs cooperation between states facilitates controls on the regime.

For more information about customs regime 42 and the other customs regimes, you can contact the ASD Group specialists directly.

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