Bearing specialist gains IPR status

Bearings 22-01-2020

Non-EU customers benefit from duty free goods 


Specialist bearing supplier, SMB Bearings has successfully gained Inward Process Relief (IPR) approval. Under UK law, goods imported from outside the EU are usually subject to customs duty and VAT, even if the products are sent to non-EU customers. However, an IPR authorisation allows businesses to obtain relief from these duties, if the goods are imported to the UK but are destined for re-exportation to a non-EU customer.

To claim under IPR, a business must be authorised by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Companies can apply for approval status from HMRC, specifying the types of goods and estimated quantities that they wish to be exempt from charges. Goods are brought into the UK with import duties and VAT suspended before the goods are processed and re-exported. Processing may take the form of re-packing and re-marking or re-lubrication. To remain as efficient as possible, SMB Bearings has opted to apply for full approval status, instead of the simplified IPR procedure which only allows three IPR imports per year.

“Under Customs’ IPR agreement, our customers can now benefit from the relief of import duty on bearings from our suppliers in China for example, if they are subsequently re-exported outside the EU. We’re delighted to pass this financial benefit on to our non-EU customers, who can take advantage of our cost-effective goods,” explained Chris Johnson, managing director of SMB Bearings. “We have decided to handle this process ourselves, rather than using a third party. This keeps costs down and allows us to transfer the maximum benefits on to our customers.

“We’re well known as an authorised UK distributor of EZO brand miniature bearings, manufactured in Japan. With IPR approved status, our non-EU miniature bearings customers can benefit from having access to our global network of bearing manufacturers, at a reasonable cost.”

SMB has customers in countries including Thailand, Dominican Republic, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Mexico. Existing and new customers in non-EU regions will be able to benefit from SMB’s range of duty-free bearing products.

You can find more information about SMB Bearings’ full bearing range here. For technical advice about bearings for specific applications, call the team directly on +44 (0) 1993 842 555 or e-mail

Our determination to remain specialised gives us a high level of product knowledge, providing bearing and lubrication solutions to existing or potential customers, whether individuals or large corporations. We don’t just sell bearings, we help to solve your problems. - Chris Johnson, managing director of SMB Bearings.