UK Commodity Classification Codes
Every product / item being imported into the UK and EC, must be classified under a Classification / commodity code. This code not only identifies what type of item it is but it also advises the rate of import duty and / or VAT which will be due, as well as any restrictions or additional requirements, or if any exemptions, reliefs or quotas are available. The EC Taric page lists all these codes, as does the UK's Business Link site. Ensure that you have checked out your goods before you actually place your order with your supplier to minimise any surprises or problems when your goods arrive into the UK.
Every 10-digit code is listed, but if you cannot find out which applies to you, then read the tips / advice below. ukimports.org
Click here to the EC Taric website
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Click here for the UK Business Link website
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Here's a tip to make it easier to find your 10-digit commodity code on the Taric website, and information relating to duty rates and restrictions:
The first of the two options by which you can search is, if you have been given a classification / commodity code, or maybe you have just part of it, such as the chapter prefix. With this, you can enter it directly in the "code" section.
The second of the two options, and perhaps for some, the easier option, is to search under the 'Taric Description'.
When searching for your items, be sure to try both singular and plural descriptions, e.g. Baby / Babies, Machine / Machines, Brush / Brushes etc. as the EC Taric website looks for exact words, not parts or words. Therefore, if you were looking for a 'Dishwasher', you would find your code by searching for 'Machines' (plural), but not when searching for 'Machine' (singular). ukimports.org
Important!To ensure that you are reading the correct information, always enter the 'Country of Origin' of your goods. ukimports.org
Alternatively, if you would rather speak to a more experienced person or feel the need to discuss any parts returned from your search, such as rates and / or any restrictions, you may want to call the:
UK Tariff Classification Helpline - (T) +44 (0) 1702 366 077 ukimports.org
Reading the duty types and rates; and calculating additional duty
Third Country DutyOnce you have found the details relating to the goods that you are, or are planning on importing, the rate of duty will be shown as: Third Country Duty. As mentioned above, the Taric website allows you, once you have your commodity code, to find whether there is any duty payable.
In a majority of cases this will be the only duty payable to Customs, or on some commodities you wont see this at all, as there's no duty payable.
However, on some commodities, you may find that there is more than one type of duty to pay. ukimports.org
1704907500 - For "Toffees, caramels and similar sweets" and we'll select "China" as our Country of origin.
Along with the normal Import duty which is shown as "Third Country Duty", it shows the following: "EA(1) MAX 18.70 % +ADSZ(1)". This means that there is also "European Agricultural (EA) Duty" payable.
But what does it mean if you see something like "EA Duty"? Well, were going to try and explain, hopefully without confusing anyone. ukimports.org
European Agricultural (EA) DutyThis code shows a normal (Third Country) duty rate of 9% or there's a lower preferential rate (as the Tariff preference (SPGL) part shows): 5.5% if your supplier if raising a GSP document.
Now, believe it or not, there's actually 2 options available here, albeit not shown very clearly.
The other thing to look out for, especially on processed foods, is an "Additional Code" which tells Customs the percentage of certain ingredients.
This is a 4-digit code which must be added to the Customs entry following the commodity code (in this case 1704907500). This additional code represents the % quantity of the Sugar, Starch / Glucose, Milk Proteins, Milk Fats etc. contained in the product. This is information which you must obtain from the shipper / manufacturer, however if they refuse or are unable to supply that information to you, then an educated guess should be acceptable by Customs.
Now, continuing on, lets say, for the sake of this example, that this product contained: Max. 70% Sugar, Approx 10% Glucose (no milk products). The additional code these goods, based on the above quantities, is: 7008.
So on to the EA Duty... apparently you can either pay the EA rate, which for these goods and quantities is: EUR 31.41 per 100 Kilos. Or you can pay the Max. 18.70% plus EUR 22.25 per 100 Kilos (which I think he said was the standard Sugar levy). Anyway, your cheapest option is the 1st one at: EUR 31.41 per 100 Kilos. ukimports.org
If you would like more help or advise regarding this, then the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) Team on (T) +44 (0) 1702 361 829, is a Customs team that you can talk to.
Please note: The duty rates shown above were correct at the time of writing. ukimports.org
For an explanation on how to calculate Import duty and VAT, click here.